ACL: The best acts of weekend 2

Fiza Kuzhiyil, Life & Arts Editor

After two weekends of rocking Zilker Park, Austin City Limits Festival 2021 finally came to a close this weekend. With over 130 artists to watch over the two weekends, it may be hard to tell who put on the best show. From R & B to bedroom pop, The Daily Texan compiled a list of the best acts from weekend two of ACL.

  • Jon Batiste

With his soulful R&B music and ethereal piano playing, Jon Batiste put on the best performance of weekend two. Batiste and his large band of instrumentalists played off each other to create a one-of-a-kind experience that even a die-hard Batiste fan would find refreshing. Playing hits from his new album — and yes, even the one song in an Olive Garden commercial —  Batiste didn’t take himself too seriously as he laughed and ad-libbed during songs.

Throughout the performance, he radiated an aura of love and positivity as he urged the crowd to throw the American Sign Language symbol for love in the air and later asked them to put their arms around the people next to them. From his soulful music to his inspirational banter, Batiste radiated his positive energy beyond the T-Mobile stage.

  • Bleachers

After cancelling their weekend one performance due to a member of the  crew being exposed to COVID-19, the alternative artist made up for the missed weekend with extra energy. They played hits from all three of their albums and rocked the stage with saxophones and guitars playing call-and-response sequences. With their unique mix of jazz elements and indie pop, Bleachers played a one-of-a-kind set unlike anything else at ACL.

Bleachers, the stage name for singer-songwriter Jack Antonoff, performed Friday on Ladybird stage. While pop fans may know Antonoff for his time in the band Fun. or his work producing for Taylor Swift and Lorde, Antonoff’s solo project, Bleachers, took the indie pop scene — and ACL — by storm. 

  • Doja Cat

A plane flew over Zilker Park Saturday flying a banner with the words “Welcome to ATX, Doja Cat.” She put on an energy-filled performance to a crowd sprawling from Ladybird stage to T-Mobile Stage and even teared up when she saw the size of the crowd. There were a few hiccups with the screen showing a desktop screen instead of the video and her drums not playing, but despite that, Doja Cat’s emotional, intimate moments on stage made her weekend two performance better than the last.

  • Dayglow

Another Austin native, Sloan Struble, aka Dayglow, played hits like “Can You Call Me Tonight” and songs from his new album “Harmony House.” As the sun set behind the VRBO stage, hundreds jammed out near the barricade, while further from the stage, people danced around picnic blankets. Dayglow’s performance truly encapsulated the festival experience.

  • Claud

Claud also drew a crowd over the hill to the VRBO stage, where the artist performed their bedroom pop music alone. Despite performing alone, Claud owned the stage with their gentle movements and fun on-stage banter that made the audience connect with the young artist. Hits like “Cuff of Your Jeans” kept the crowd dancing, and their talking interludes made the outdoor festival performance feel smaller and more intimate.