Photo of Gorillaz's Damon Albarn performing at Austin City Limits 2017, by Roger Ho
The whirlwind first of two weekends of Austin City Limits Music Festival came to a close on Sunday with Gorillaz and The Killer shutting it down.
Throughout the day, Zilker Park was treated to performances from the likes of Bibi Bourelly, who performed early in the afternoon, delivering a soaring set on the Honda stage. Afterward, she sat down with Variance for a chat about new music and touring.
Next up, Jacob Banks offered up a stunning performance, allowing his breathtaking vocals to take center stage, giving Austin a preview of his upcoming headlining tour. He also talked to Variance about his upcoming plans.
Meanwhile, Jamila Woods was awe-inspiring at the Tito's stage and Danny Brown brought the fire to the Honda stage, both delivering standout performances, as did DRAM, who was all smiles as he trotted around in a flannel bathrobe and a T-shirt advocating the legalization of marijuana.
BadBadNotGood may have been somewhat confined by the Tito's tent, but they made the most of the intimate space, proving their talents are worthy of bigger venues.
Later on, Portugal. The Man managed to navigate a two-pronged mission, delivering fan favorites for their long-time followers and making clear for newcomers their catalog is an incredible one and it's worth exploring.
Photo by Charles Reagan Hackleman
As the sun began set on Zilker, Run the Jewels got everyone hyped, easily establishing themselves as a festival mainstay. Despite their near-constant touring schedule and frequent fest appearances, Killer Mike and El-P are always in sync with each other while delivering a fiery performance each time. ACL was no exception. And it included a bonus cameo from Danny Brown.
Bringing everything to close was The Killers, taking over the American Express stage with the skyline of Austin as a backdrop for their hit-filled set, which seemed to be the perfect finale for the first major festival following the recent Las Vegas attack.
"The best moments of my life have happened at concerts," Vegas native and Killers frontman Brandon Flowers told the crowd. "From down there and from up here, and I’m happy to be here tonight with you all. Let's sing together."
In addition the band's new material and decade-spanning catalog of favorites like "Smile Like You Mean It," "Mr. Brightside," "When You Were Young," "Runaways" and "Somebody Told Me," Flowers also offered a tribute to the late Tom Petty in the form of a cover of "The Waiting," accompanied only by a hushed guitar.
Across the way, Gorillaz also gave Austin a worthy weekend-closer, as Damon Albarn and Co. relished the moment and fired up the crowd with a massive set, while draped in glowing lights.
After his own performance earlier in the day on the same stage, DRAM joined the band for a live rendition of their collaboration "Andromeda," which appears on Gorillaz's recent album Humanz.
See photos from select performances below, by Dan DeSlover unless otherwise noted. For more of our ACL 2017 coverage, go here.