On Air

On Air


Listen now

Concert Experience

ACL Legends, Past and Future

October 18, 2018

Austin City Limits Weekend One was last weekend and I (along with my ears) are still recovering from the jaw dropping performances and food prices.

The headliners are Paul McCartney, Metallica, some rapper (Travis Scott), Arctic Monkeys, and some others. Yes, I’m still bitter about Childish Gambino dropping out and I’m kind of offended you asked. But enough about that, let’s get into the music.

I am going to talk about two specific artists. Legends, if you will. One isn’t a legend yet, but will be, and the other is Paul McCartney. The first legend I’m referring to is Janelle Monáe.

If your first reaction is “who?” then see this link (; it might jog your memory. Janelle is a fantastic R&B artist and has quite the future, if her performance is anything to go by. Musically, she’s almost a carbon copy of Janet Jackson. But theatrically? I’ve never seen anything like it in a festival setting. She had multiple costume changes (one of which was quite bizarre), dancers, a brass section, and an elevated state set-up. And this is ACL we’re talking about. It was 4 pm and blisteringly hot outside, yet Janelle was providing perfect vocals while twerking along with her dancers. In long sleeves and pants, no less.

What made her show so different? Well besides the theatrics, she had a call and response with the audience, something I haven’t seen done in the modern concert scene. She can also dance quite well, so well that, at points, I stopped singing along and just stared at her in wonder. Her costumes? I think there were three, but the second one was definitely the craziest. It consisted of large, couture ruffle-y pants that looked suspiciously like a certain part of the female anatomy. Her brass section breakdown at the end of her set was perfect and carried the energy of the entire show to a satisfying finish. By the end, I felt like I had robbed her, because the short set felt like a stadium tour experience. All in all, one of the best concerts of the fest. If you’re going to Weekend Two, stop by and enjoy.

On to the long-time legend, Paul of The Beatles. I’ll be honest, I was not expecting a world class concert experience. Paul is 76 after all. Which is partly why his show at ACL was so amazing. He kicked off his show with “A Hard Day’s Night” and the energy didn’t go down for the rest of the 2 hour show. He went from playing the guitar to playing the keyboard to just singing to back to the guitar. His voice was fantastic and I’m not just saying that; it was on pitch the entire time. He played the classics, some new stuff from Egypt Station, and of course, he played “Hey Jude” and my personal favorite “Blackbird”, which brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know what else to say except that if anyone deserves the ‘legend’ moniker, it’s Paul McCartney. Having the same passion, same energy, and same affinity for music as when you started is something few can claim. It is such a privilege to be able to say that I have seen a Beatle in person and that it was just as good as it was in the 60s. If you have the means, see him in concert sometime.

You might not be a Beatles fan, but there’s no disputing the fact that they left an indelible mark on music. And let’s be honest, it’s impossible not to sing along to “Hey Jude”.

TagsConcert Experience
KANM logo, designed by Isabella Little.

Follow our socials

© 2024 KANM Student Radio, Texas A&M University. All rights reserved.

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy