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The five best things we saw at ACL 2017 on Sunday

DRAM
Photograph: David Brendan Hall DRAM

If Saturday was a day with miraculous cloud cover, Sunday was one big middle finger to anyone who thought it might have cooled off a bit. On Day 3 of ACL 2017, the sun beat down as temps rose to the high 90s, lines at the hydration stations snaked across the park and every shaded patch of grass became coveted territory. Yet despite the heat, Sunday's performances were energetic and larger-than-life. After a long weekend of running between stages, battling the weather and dodging every asshole trying to film entire sets on a GoPro, here are our favorite moments from Sunday at ACL 2017.  

1. Sam Melo's maniacal dancing

Photograph: Charles Reagan Hackleman

Rainbow Kitten Surprise always puts on a fantastic show, and despite the desperate heat during their 2pm performance, Sam Melo still managed to dance like no one (or, you know, thousands of people) was watching. Squirming his way through moves that alternated between balletic and spastic, the frontman seemed possessed by some thrashing spirit as he left it all out on the stage (and in the crowd, climbing up on the guardrail to scream into his fans' faces and phones). At the set's end, half of the band members flopped onto the floor and rolled around as the last notes played, and we kind of wished we could join them. 

2. DRAM turned up the crowd in Gucci sandals and socks

Photograph: David Brendan Hall

You may know him from his single “Broccoli,” but DRAM made sure he revealed more of his talent before delivering his radio hit at the end of the set. In a shirt that read "Legalize It," gold pineapple sunglasses and Gucci sandals paired with high socks, the beaming wordsmith provided some of the best audience engagement we saw at the fest this year, delivering pep talks and smooth, baby-making jams before bringing the energy back with his club bangers. Also, he just seems like a really nice guy, ya know?

3. First Aid Kit gave us all the feels

Photograph: David Brendan Hall

There was a lot to love about the standout performance from First Aid Kit, the duo comprised of sisters Klara and Johanna Söderberg. From the country-pleasing “Emmylou” to the heartbreakingly beautiful “Fireworks” to a great cover of Kenny Rogers' “The Gambler,” their perfect harmonies soared above the crowd, making us all forget about the sun bearing down on our faces. 

4. Run the Jewels made a fan's dream come true

Photograph: David Brendan Hall

"Let me sing Oh My Darling!" read a sign floating amidst the massive Run The Jewels crowd, and even El-P and Killer Mike seemed to wince at first. “You don't want to go down that path,” said El-P to the sign's owner, before they finally, reluctantly, called him on stage. Well, surprise surprise: Superfan Bruce killed the first verse of “Oh My Darling Don't Cry,” prompting El-P to ask “What the fuck just happened?” The rest of their set was classic, phenomenal RTJ showmanship. These two always seem to have a blast up on stage, and their affection for each other—and the audience—is contagious. 

5. Both headliners left everything on the field 

Photograph: David Brendan Hall

Festival goers had to choose between Gorillaz and The Killers on Sunday night, and honestly, both acts put on a phenomenal show. Las Vegas natives The Killers opened with a Tom Petty tribute before hitting us with “Mr.Brightside” for a fantastic one-two punch. After giving a fiery speech about the tragic Las Vegas shootings, commending the audience for being at ACL and supporting live music, the hits kept coming throughout an energetic show that served as a fitting end to ACL Weekend One. On the other side of the field, sheer magic was happening at the Honda stage. Gorillaz took us on a mesmerizing journey with beautiful visuals and a set list that alternated between haunting ballads and rowdy, heart-thumping collaborations. Co-founder and lead singer Damon Albarn's steady vocals were layered throughout the show with special guests that brought a whole new level of wonder to the night: DRAM, Kilo Kish, and De La Soul on “Feel Good Inc.,” among others. What a way to end the festival. See you next year?

Check out our favorite moments from Friday and Saturday at ACL 2017. 

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