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Austin City Limits is known for its laid back vibe, familiar setting, and exquisite musical performances that capture the essence of the city - live music capital of the world. That's exactly what the opening acts delivered at the festival's kick-off this Friday. Jay-Z drew the biggest crowd of the day, Solange showed how much of a solid performer she is, and The xx enchanted thousands with their inspiring lyrics and visual effects. There was also a trend among the headlining acts: deliver positive messages to counter the divisiveness in the country these days.

A message of hope and unity

"Music brings us together like nothing else in the world can," said an emotional Mark Foster, lead vocalist of Foster The People, during the band's concert at Austin City Limits.

He went on to talk about Syrian refugees and how much damage the rise of nationalism around the world is doing. "It's been really tough. Walking into the studio writing this last record I really felt like it was important for us to make a joyful record. Because joy is the best weapon against depression," he said. "We are more unified than you think." The band played previous hits, from "Waste" to "Coming of Age," and a few new songs from their third album, "Sacred Hearts Club." They finished the set at the gigantic American Express stage with a rendition of John Lennon's "Love."

JAY-Z, who closed day one of the festival, didn't talk about the recent shooting in Las Vegas or try to make political commentary. He did, however, convey a message of hope. "There's a lot going on in the world, a lot of hate and a lot of evil," the rapper said.

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"I want you to know that love will always conquer hate," h-e added.

Festival goers were kind of expecting Beyoncé to make an appearance, either at sister Solange's show or at husband JAY-Z's performance. She didn't show up but that didn't make both concerts less spectacular. JAY-Z was able to get some of the loudest sing-alongs of the day, from "99 problems" to "Forever Young."

Keeping Austin weird

If you've never been to Austin City Limits, you've never seen the weirdest and coolest signs ever brought to a festival. There was Leonardo DiCaprio's face, just for kicks. There was "Bob's Burgers" Tina. There was Pokémon, Harambe, and a Targaryen flag. You just can't walk around without spotting a giant meme and a multitude of flags, that are as much of a statement as a way to find friends.

This is also one of the most diverse musical festivals around. Families bring their toddlers while teenagers take selfies and old friends share a beer. You've got chair zones and no chair zones. The crowds are so immense that they make Coachella look small. As a matter of fact, ACL has more than double the attendance of California's iconic festival: every year, more than 450,000 people attend both weekends of the festival in the heart of Texas. And this year, we're just getting started.