ACL Live Review: Jenny Lewis

Ex-Rilo Kiley singer goes full-on pink except for her tequila goblet

As Friday’s sun set on day one of ACL Fest and the sweltering temperatures dropped a few degrees, Jenny Lewis walked onto the Vrbo stage across Barton Springs Road and set a whole new vibe for the evening.

Photo by Gary Miller

Clad in a pastel, sequined jumpsuit, sunglasses that could've been nicked from Elton John, and blown-out, bumped-up hair, the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman determined to transport the sweating, exhausted crowd somewhere mellower – where each word and note mattered.

Channeling Dolly Parton if she had been raised in Laurel Canyon, Lewis remains the master of aesthetic. Every instrument onstage was the same pastel pink as her microphone and clothes. She herself splayed out on a pastel pedestal like a Vegas lounge singer, using a smirk and a blue goblet full of tequila to express that she’s always worth paying attention to.

Most festival sets are high in energy, feeding off the massive crowds, but Lewis wanted to take this at her own pace. She strolled through “Heads Gonna Roll” and “Wasted Youth,” and then almost lost the crowd entirely though “Happy.” That’s when the Jamaican remix of “Voyager,” followed by mid-Aughts favorite “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley got them bounding back.

As the moon rose, the small audience – Lewis endured the misfortune of going against Guns N' Roses for half the set – stoked up their cheers, applause, and playing keep-away with giant pink and blue balloons that wafted through the air. The hour-long set ended with a joyous rendition of Rilo Kiley’s “I Never” and the band playing hard as Lewis strolled offstage.

As effortless as she manifested to begin the performance, that confidence left her audience thoroughly moved and entertained.


Jenny Lewis

Friday, Oct. 4, 6:30pm, Vrbo stage

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Jenny Lewis, ACL Fest 2019, Rilo Kiley, Elton John, Dolly Parton

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