The first few days of Austin City Limits flies by as the legendary festival’s 2018 iteration wraps up its first of two 2018 weekends with nothing but strong performances from top-billing acts and memorable festival newcomers. The likes of Twin Shadow, Elle King, and Hailey Knox impressed, while later in the day huge sets from Camila Cabello, Tinashe, and Sylvan Esso left huge crowds begging for more. Top that with enormous shows from Phoenix, Janelle Monae, and Travis Scott and you’ve got one epic way to farewell the past 3 days.
While not photographed, I must also give a shout out to Shame, the UK group who deserved a higher billing. They’re a post punk band who really pushed their fans hard to rock out even mid day. Elle King just had fun, showcasing a strong country set which brought quite a number of fans out. But it was Janelle Monae who was the Queen of the day. Expressing her love and desire for women empowerment, her set was the spotlight of the day.
Tinashe showed headliner promise with a heavily chreographed performance that showcased her new album. Phoenix – a late addition to the lineup after Childish Gambino had to drop out due to an injury – gave the indie lovers something to jam on. Camila Cabello brought some Latin flair and had some wonderful cover songs that surprised me. Sylvan Esso had a smoke show and brought a dance party to a “fucking shitty week”, while Travis Scott closed out ACL weekend 1 with an absolute treat of a set, as the young hip hop audience moshed and fed off his energy.
Waytao Shing was on ground for the festival to bring us these photos of all the action.