Our Favorite Memories of 50 Years of Austin City Limits

To help celebrate five decades of Austin City Limits, we wanted to share some of the HB crew’s favorite memories from the longest-running music program in television history. Watch the clips below so you can see for yourself. Cheers to 50 years of live music!

John Prine

“John Prine performed in 2018 in what would end up being his last Austin City Limits appearance before he passed away. Tyler Childers joined him on stage for a few songs that night. So it was only fitting for Tyler Childers to perform one of John Prine's songs during his induction to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame.” – Joe R

Willie Nelson

“The one that kicked this whole thing off! It’s pretty sweet that the first episode features Austin’s most famous musical resident. Love that Howler has paid homage to the Red Headed Stranger’s threads.” – Josh

Foo Fighters

“Foo Fighters played for nearly three hours. At one point, Dave Grohl ran to the back of the crowd with a bottle of champagne to share with everyone while the late Taylor Hawkins took over singing duties.” – Rick W

Japanese Breakfast

“I'd just finished reading Japanese Breakfast singer Michelle Zauner's memoir, Crying in H-Mart, before seeing Japanese Breakfast record their episode. It was an incredible experience to see her perform live in such an intimate setting after reading such a personal book.” – Kendall G


“This was the most anticipated taping of that year for me and my friends. I was lucky enough to attend, and even had an extra wristband I dropped down from the terrace to a friend who rushed to the venue as quickly as possible to join us. Radiohead were absolutely incredible and this episode lived on my DVR for years.” – Gabe H

Phoebe Bridgers

“There wasn't a crowd on the floor. It was post-COVID and Phoebe and her band graciously performed for a packed house in the mezzanine and balcony. You can see in the recording how often Phoebe keeps looking up at the crowd above. She ended her set like a rock star by kicking over her mic stand.” – Katie C


“I distinctly remember watching an episode in 2004 featuring The Flaming Lips and The Shins—and wanting to go see a live taping so badly. It took 19 years and a move to Austin, Texas to finally make that happen. Dreams come true.”  – Paul G

Nickel Creek

“I have LOVED Nickel Creek since I was a child—it’s one of the few crossover bands between my brother and I. My partner at the time managed to get us last minute tickets and I cried as I held onto the balcony railing listening to the perfect blend of their voices. There’s something special about these tapings—no phones, full attention—it is so quiet in the audience. Everyone who is there is a mega fan. That was my first time seeing them live, and one of my most fond memories of live music.” – Killian H

Brandi Carlile

“Living in Austin, we are so lucky to attend ACL tapings in person—and feel the energy of the room. One of my favorite tapings was Brandi Carlile—it felt different because she AND her band were there for the love of music and the connection that brings. Their energy turned that whole room into exactly where we were supposed to be at that very moment.” – Jen R


"A couple of years ago I went to the Khruangbin taping at Moody Theater. It was just about the perfect setting to see live music. We walked in on the floor level and there was the stage right in front of us. From the band's set to the energy of the crowd, the whole experience was top notch." – Mason B

It was an honor to help Austin City Limits celebrate their golden anniversary with our Austin City Limits 50th Anniversary Collection. To learn more about the year-long birthday party for Austin City Limits, visit ACLturns50.com