“Austin, Texas! Doesn’t it feel good to be back?
There is no doubt that the thousands of Black Pumas fans who gathered around the Lady Bird stage at the ACL Fest agreed – but if they weren’t sure, frontman Eric Burton gave them a lot more. chances of responding. Screams of “Austin, Texas” swept through the award-winning Austin band’s set like mulch over the sodden grounds of Zilker Park, reminding us that the Pumas are our last major musical force to arrive on the scene.
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Last week, the group won the Duo / Group of the Year award at the Americana Music Awards in Nashville. They didn’t win the Grammys’ “Best New Artist” category earlier this year, but just being one of the nominees for that honor was impressive. And if you’ve been watching TV in the past few months, you’ve almost certainly heard their song “Colors” floating around in the commercials for Target.
The Pumas performed an hour-long wellness set that provided enjoyable dance grooves for the large (but not TOO crowded) audience that gathered just before sunset. The masks were rarely spotted (despite the supposed “mask areas” near the stage described on the ACL Fest website), but members of the audience generally didn’t get wrapped up in the front like sardines.
The seven-piece ensemble, sparked by the often scathing and moving solos of co-founder guitarist Adrian Quesada, has always given Burton solid support for his vocal surges on audience favorites such as “Know You Better” and “Black. Moon Rising “. Burton invited the crowd to join in with hand claps on “I’m Ready” and arm gestures on “Oct 33,” then threw in a special treat with a solo performance of the first verse and chorus of “Fast.” Car ”by Tracy Chapman (who Burton played in the streets of downtown Austin as a street musician before the formation of the Black Pumas).
A gloriously extended performance of “Colors” got the crowd dancing as the group built themselves up to an a cappella final, Burton urging the crowd to sing along. He shouted one last “Welcome, Austin Texas!” before the group left… but wait, they still had six minutes left!
The group quickly returned, Burton explaining, “They told us we had a few more minutes, can we do one more for you, Austin?” A soulful, bluesy and deeply reworked version of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” followed before the band and Burton, clad in a black AC / DC T-shirt, left, making way for a headlining set. from the Strait of George at 8 p.m. Never say that ACL Fest doesn’t cover a lot of bases.