After being given the opportunity to apply for credentials for Austin City Limits 2022, I excitedly prepared for the weekend to come. In high school, I would save every last penny, just to be able to buy a 3-day pass. Understandably, this was like a dream come true for me. After spending most of my time at ACL waiting patiently for my favorite bands to grace the stage, I decided to take a more laid-back route this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of sheer talent I came across.
I started the weekend at the American Express stage to see Twen, who I was given the absolute honor to interview. Although the sun was aggressively beating down on them, and the crowd, they gave an energetic and lighthearted performance. Vocalist Jane Fitzsimmons sang her heart out while bouncing around on stage and interacting with the intrigued audience. Near the end of their set, they played my favorite song of theirs, “Long Throat,” and I was left feeling satisfied.
I then traveled the long and strenuous journey to the other side of the park and reached the Honda stage. Here, I stumbled upon British rock band, Wet Leg, who were stunningly dressed head to toe. The crowd was mesmerized by their music, understandably, as I genuinely enjoyed every second of their set. Vocalist, Rhian Teasdale, took notice of a sign asking to draw someone’s next tattoo. Without hesitation, the sign was brought onstage where Rhian and bandmate, Hester Chambers, each took turns drawing each other. The crowd roared as the cameras desperately tried to reveal the art in process. Needless to say, the creator of the sign was very pleased with the outcome.
After spending Saturday at home, a much-needed rest day, I returned to the park on Sunday. My first stop was at the Barton Springs stage to see Faye Webster. I could feel the anticipation evaporating from the fairly large crowd. Faye’s stage presence was absolutely charming and lovely. She gave off a super cute energy that I hadn’t gotten from any other band at the festival. Her set was really brought together by the pedal steel guitar that, in my opinion, stole the show.
Of course, I had to end my weekend with Paramore, who performed at the American Express stage. Like the hundreds of other people there, my middle school self was ecstatic waiting in that massive crowd. Although everyone was excited, I found the environment to be very respectful, which can sometimes be difficult to come across at festivals like this. Shortly after their scheduled appearance, the neon orange hair of Hayley Williams emerged on stage. The fans cheered so loud; I could barely hear her over the screams. Paramore’s performance was one of the best of the weekend for me. Hayley made an effort to show her appreciation frequently, and actively made the performance about us, not her. She even brought out emerging artist, PinkPantheress, who performed earlier that day. Teary-eyed, she sang along to “Misery Business” as Hayley stepped away from the spotlight. Overall, Paramore’s set was the most energetic and powerful of the weekend.
Although ACL can be extremely draining, especially in the Texas heat, I strongly suggest attending, even if it’s just for a day. The experience you will gain is truly like no other.
Written by: Jordan Young