ACL Fest 2021: Weekend One

Relive weekend one of the 2021 Austin City Limits Music Festival! 

St. Vincent – Sunday

ACL Fest 2021 - St. Vincent
photos by Renee Dominguez

With her new album, “Daddy’s Home”, and a new mockumentary with her friend Carrie Brownstein, “The Nowhere Inn”, and here on the ACL stage, the electric performer St. Vincent [Dallas native Annie Clark} continues to do what she does so well – draw all eyes in her direction.

Noga Erez – Sunday

ACL Fest 2021 - Noga Erez
Tel Aviv based Noga Erez has been advised not to talk about what’s happening in her home country, but what she may not say explicitly in interview is laid bare in her tempestuous brand of electronica. After releasing her sophomore record “Kids” earlier this year, she recently stopped in ATX for ACL during her first US tour.

Tyler, The Creator – Sunday

ACL Fest 2021 - Tyler, The CreatorFormer Odd Future mainstay Tyler, the Creator [Tyler Gregory Okonma], takes to the ACL stage on the heels of his latest ‘mixtape’, “Call Me If You Get Lost”, a recording that reveals a more intimate and eclectic side of the rapper, and a tour de force of his many talents.

TC Superstar – Sunday

ACL Fest 2021 - TC Superstar

Their bio quotes a fan description of Austin’s TC Superstar as “bloopy 80s revivalist synth-pop” which one supposes is a good string of modifiers as any to describe the indescribable. The choreographed satire of Connor McCampbell and his sprawling band is both arch and deadpan. Their ACL performance coincides with their latest release, “As Seen on TV”.

Band of Horses – Sunday

ACL Fest 2021 - Band of Horses
photos by Renee Dominguez/KUTX

Lead singer Ben Bridwell remains the only original member of the guitar-driven rootsy group Band of Horses that launched in Seattle nearly two decades ago. And now they are based on the opposite coast. Their highly anticipated ACL return since their last album, 2016’s “Why Are You OK”.

Dayglow – Saturday

ACL Fest 2021 - Dayglow
photo by Renee Dominguez

As a kid in Aledo, Texas, Sloan Struble found himself with a lot of time on his hands. By age ten, he knew how to use Garageband, and was soon posting his creations for fun. Eventually adopting the name Dayglow, they hit it big with 2018’s ultra-shy “Can I Call You Tonight”, which went Gold. Two albums later (the latest, “Harmony House” was released in May), Dayglow is a touring band and Strubel remains unafraid to lampoon his online-obsessed generation. “something” takes on social media: “Stuff is never going to fulfill us, yet we are always wanting more and more”. Dayglow pulled on their best polyester shirts and brought their always sunny vibes for an early evening performance on day two of ACL Fest 2021.

Phoebe Bridgers – Saturday

ACL Fest 2021 - Phoebe Bridgers
photos by Renee Dominguez

It’s hard to think of another present-day singer/songwriter that has galvanized her audience like L.A.’s Phoebe Bridgers. Since her 2017 debut she has made only one other album, 2020’s “Punisher”, but her blunt, emotional writing has proved to be a perfect thermometer of the times, and her highly-attuned songs are showing up everywhere. Bridgers has collaborated freely, formed boygenius with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus, started her own label and produced new artists… all with undeniable verve. Here she is showing off an awesome assortment of guitars during her afternoon set on Saturday, October 2 for the first weekend of ACL Fest.

Modest Mouse – Saturday

ACL Fest 2021 - Modest Mouse
photos by Renee Dominguez/KUTX

Darlings of the alternative scene for decades, Modest Mouse found mainstream success in the mid-nineties, only to plow ahead with their quirky, angular style. Led by founding members Isaac Brock [vocals] and Jeremiah Green [drums], they have remained unique, entertaining and consistent [despite numerous personnel changes] since their 1992 debut. Their latest release is “The Golden Casket”, released in June. Peep some photos from their performance yesterday evening on the main stage for day two of @aclfestival 2021!

Gina Chavez – Saturday

ACL Fest 2021 - Gina Chavez
photos by Renee Dominguez/KUTX

A fixture of the Austin scene since 2004, the queer Latinx bilingual folk-rocker Gina Chavez has garnered multiple Austin Music Awards, Grammy nominations, appeared on NPR and on Austin City Limits. Her music is infused with pride and empowerment, and her music is incessantly searching. Her latest album, 2020’s bold “La Que Manda”, is her first recording entirely in Spanish.

Here she rocking some of the coolest pants we’ve ever seen on the BMI Stage yesterday for her late afternoon set on day two of ACL Fest. Yes, those are her initials and yes they do have La Que Manda stitched on the sides!

ACL Fest Fans – Weekend One

ACL Fest 2021 - Fans
photos by Renee Dominguez

Music fans make the world go round! Here are some of our favorite shots from the front lines of the 2021 Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Megan Thee Stallion – Friday

ACL Fest 2021: Megan Thee Stallion
photos by Gabriel C. Pérez/KUTX

A rain delay earlier in the day sent Megan Thee Stallion @theestallion fans rushing to the main Honda stage hours before her scheduled 6 p.m. set time, to be sure of a front-row seat for one of this year’s most anticipated performances at ACL Festival. Sure enough, a very hot pink Megan Thee Stallion brought the eternal Hot Girl Summer to Zilker Park with a set full of chart toppers like Cardi B collab “WAP.”

Black Pumas – Friday

ACL Fest 2021 - Black Pumas
photos by Renee Dominguez/KUTX

There has been no greater success story in Austin as of late. The meteoric rise of the hard-grooving band led by Eric Burton & Adrian Quesada is one even the pandemic’s enforced time off couldn’t kill. Their 2019 debut album is Grammy-nominated and continues to sell. They brought live music back to Austin with a record-breaking multi-night sellout at Stubb’s. And now they’re taking their rightful place on the ACL stage.

Chet Faker – Friday

ACL Fest 2021 - Chet Faker
photos by Renee Dominguez

Like Elvis Costello, Chet Faker (Australia’s Nick Murphy) made a failed attempt at escaping the silly moniker he chose as a young performer. It’s beside the point though. Whatever he calls himself, Chet Faker’s music is all about mood, a chill groove with a deep artistic bent. His new album. “Hotel Surrender” picks up right where he left off.

Tkay Maizda – Friday

ACL Fest 2021 - Tkay Maizda
photos by Renee Dominguez/KUTX

The Zimbabwe-born Tkay Maizda was raised in Australia, where her teen years were about competitive tennis and architecture school, until she uploaded her explosive EDM track “Brontosaurus” and found herself fending off label offers. Tiring of EDM, the prescient singer (who launched a trilogy titled “Last Year Was Weird” pre-pandemic) has settled on a genre-floating R&B that has expanded the short but already spectacular 25-year-old’s career.

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