Austin City Limits

The BEST episodes of Austin City Limits

Every episode of Austin City Limits ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Austin City Limits!

Established singer-songwriters and acclaimed newcomers perform country, blues, rock, folk, bluegrass, and related styles of music.

Last Updated: 11/29/2022Network:PBS
Share:
Dwight Yoakam followed by Patty Loveless
star
10.00
1 votes

#1 - Dwight Yoakam followed by Patty Loveless

Season 14 - Episode 7 - Aired 3/10/1989

A hillbilly rebel, Dwight Yoakam has a unique Bakersfield sound. Legend Buck Owens joins with Flaco Jimenez to appear with Yoakam for "The Streets of Bakersfield." Next, Patty Loveless has the clear sure voice of her Kentucky bluegrass roots.

Spoon
star
10.00
28 votes

#2 - Spoon

Season 36 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/9/2010

Hailed as “one of the most engaging American bands of the past decade” (The Phoenix) by critics and fans, Spoon returns to Austin City Limits for their third turn on the stage with a new album that “strikes a balance between its early angsty indie-rock and the soulful deconstructed pop of its 2007 release, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” (Billboard).

Foo Fighters
star
10.00
1 votes

#3 - Foo Fighters

Season 40 - Episode 13 - Aired 2/6/2015

Foo Fighters perform selections from their 2014 "Sonic Highways" album.

Watch Now:Amazon
Jason Isbell / Neko Case
star
10.00
1 votes

#4 - Jason Isbell / Neko Case

Season 39 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/11/2014

ACL presents modern roots rock with Jason Isbell and Neko Case. Isbell performs tunes from his acclaimed LP Southeastern, while Case sings songs from her latest album.

Sarah Jarosz / The Milk Carton Kids
star
10.00
1 votes

#5 - Sarah Jarosz / The Milk Carton Kids

Season 39 - Episode 12 - Aired 2/1/2014

Sarah Jarosz performs selections from her 2013 "Build Me Up From Bones" album; the Milk Carton Kids perform songs from their 2013 "The Ash & Clay" CD.

The Decemberists followed by Explosions in the Sky
star
9.90
28 votes

#6 - The Decemberists followed by Explosions in the Sky

Season 33 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/13/2007

Progressive pop pioneers, The Decemberists, make their ACL debut. Next, Explosions in the Sky, well known for the movie scores, appears in a powerful live stage performance.

Radiohead
star
9.50
4 votes

#7 - Radiohead

Season 38 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/6/2012

The band performs songs from its Grammy-nominated LP The King of Limbs.

Watch Now:Amazon
Pearl Jam
star
9.40
5 votes

#8 - Pearl Jam

Season 35 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/21/2009

One of the most popular and influential rock bands of the past two decades, Pearl Jam makes their Austin City Limits debut in celebration of their self-released new CD, Backspacer.

Iggy Pop
star
9.33
3 votes

#9 - Iggy Pop

Season 42 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/29/2016

A thrilling hour with rock & roll legend Iggy Pop in his first-ever ACL appearance. The Detroit native blasts through classics and cuts from his latest album “Post Pop Depression,” accompanied by members of Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys.

Watch Now:Amazon
The Avett Brothers / Nickel Creek
star
9.00
1 votes

#10 - The Avett Brothers / Nickel Creek

Season 40 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/2/2015

The Avett Brothers perform selections from their 2013 "Magpie and the Dandelion" album and Nickel Creek spotlight songs their 2014 "A Dotted Line" album.

The Black Keys / J. Roddy Walston & the Business
star
9.00
1 votes

#11 - The Black Keys / J. Roddy Walston & the Business

Season 40 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/30/2015

The Black Keys feature songs from their 2014 "Turn Blue" album and J. Roddy Walston and the Business spotlight selections from their 2013 "Essential Tremors" album.

Don Henley
star
9.00
2 votes

#12 - Don Henley

Season 41 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/24/2015

Don Henley showcases songs from his first solo album in 15 years, “Cass County” which represents both Henley’s roots and the next stop on his creative journey.

Watch Now:Amazon
James Taylor
star
9.00
2 votes

#13 - James Taylor

Season 41 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/14/2015

James Taylor performs some of his most beloved songs as well as selections from his 2015 album, “Before This World.”

Watch Now:Amazon
The National / Band of Horses
star
8.90
29 votes

#14 - The National / Band of Horses

Season 36 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/15/2011

While lead singer Matt Berninger sustains The National with his resonant baritone voice, his bandmates masterfully round out their soul-haunting sound. With their cathartic, raw and reflective new release, High Violet, “The National has graduated from being a critic's band. Now it belongs to everyone.” (Onion AV Club). Formed in 1999, the Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Their first full-length releases, including Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers, gained critical attention for “deftly balancing country, classical and cabaret” (Alternative Press). 2005’s Alligator included underground anthem “Mr. November,” and raised their profile as The National grew into an incendiary live band. 2007’s Boxer took the band to new levels and earned them spots on many Top 10 albums of the decade list. PopMatters wrote “This album, like all great albums, somehow transcends all the factors that makes it work, absorbs them in a seamless whole and breaks your heart in the process.” The National’s newest release, High Violet, reveals even deeper musical and lyrical wonders with each listen. “We started out trying to make a light and happy record, but it just didn't happen,” said Berninger. “This album is catchier and more fun than our other records, and bleaker in its ideas and themes.” “Somehow we create our own little world, and it works, even though sometimes it shouldn’t,” said Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, piano). “The process can be difficult, but eventually something beautiful and cohesive will emerge. Making something heartfelt is our only concern.”

Coldplay
star
8.86
29 votes

#15 - Coldplay

Season 37 - Episode 14 - Aired 12/31/2011

Modern rock giants Coldplay ring in the New Year with a 90-minute Austin City Limits New Year's Eve special highlighting their mega-hits and songs from their newest LP, "Mylo Xyloto." This historic holiday celebration captures the excitement and energy of the Grammy-winning band that has sold over 50 million records worldwide.

Norah Jones / Kat Edmonson
star
8.67
3 votes

#16 - Norah Jones / Kat Edmonson

Season 38 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/19/2013

Jazz and pop cross on ACL with Norah Jones and Kat Edmonson. Jones sings songs from her Dangermouse-produced album Little Broken Hearts. Edmonson showcases the song stylings of her LP Way Down Low.

The Best of John Prine
star
8.50
12 votes

#17 - The Best of John Prine

Season 46 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/3/2020

Savor an hour of stirring performances from the late singer/songwriter John Prine's episodes of Austin City Limits. Songs include "Paradise," "Sam Stone" and "Angel from Montgomery," with special guest Bonnie Raitt.

Watch Now:Amazon
Nine Inch Nails
star
8.50
2 votes

#18 - Nine Inch Nails

Season 40 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/18/2014

Austin City Limits presents an epic hour with Nine Inch Nails. The special broadcast airs as a preview of our upcoming milestone 40th Anniversary Season. NIN’s arena-worthy ACL debut showcases ten songs.

Watch Now:Amazon
Cyndi Lauper
star
8.50
2 votes

#19 - Cyndi Lauper

Season 42 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/14/2017

Enjoy the ACL debut of pop legend Cyndi Lauper with a a program of classics and country covers. Songs include “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” “True Colors” and “End of the World.”

Natalia Lafourcade / Grupo Fantasma
star
8.50
2 votes

#20 - Natalia Lafourcade / Grupo Fantasma

Season 42 - Episode 6 - Aired 11/5/2016

Enjoy the contemporary Latin sounds of Natalia Lafourcade and Grupo Fantasma. Mexican superstar Lafourcade performs songs from her Grammy-winning album Hasta la Ruiz and powerhouse Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma dazzle with irresistible grooves.

Foo Fighters Rock Austin City Limits
star
8.44
9 votes

#21 - Foo Fighters Rock Austin City Limits

Season 46 - Episode 8 - Aired 1/9/2021

Enjoy highlights from superstar rock band Foo Fighters’ 2009 and 2015 episodes of Austin City Limits. Songs include “The Pretender” and “Best of You.”

Watch Now:Amazon
LCD Soundsystem
star
8.40
5 votes

#22 - LCD Soundsystem

Season 43 - Episode 11 - Aired 2/3/2018

Relish the ACL debut of alternative rock icon LCD Soundsystem. The recently revived band spotlights hits and songs from its comeback album “American Dream.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan on Austin City Limits: 30 Years On
star
8.38
8 votes

#23 - Stevie Ray Vaughan on Austin City Limits: 30 Years On

Season 46 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/17/2020

Thrill to an hour of classic Austin City Limits performances from late Texas blues rocker Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble. Songs include "Pride and Joy," "Crossfire" and "Texas Flood."

Willie Nelson
star
8.33
3 votes

#24 - Willie Nelson

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/17/1974

October 17, 1974, Willie Nelson recorded the original pilot episode of Austin City Limits. At the time no one could have predicted that the fledgling music show from Austin, Texas, would still be delivering great performances decades later. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the first taping, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has declared October 17 “Austin City Limits Day.” The date recognizes the show’s very first taping, which took place on October 17, 1974 and featured the iconic Willie Nelson.

Watch Now:Amazon
Tedeschi Trucks Band
star
8.33
3 votes

#25 - Tedeschi Trucks Band

Season 41 - Episode 13 - Aired 2/13/2016

The Grammy Award-winning group featuring Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and an ensemble of musicians showcases their latest record “Let Me Get By.”

Watch Now:Amazon

Want to see the rest of the rankings?

Episode Ninja is a small business run by one person.
Pro memberships help fund servers and new feature development!