ACL Live Review: Julia Jacklin
Aussie song expert shakes off the fest’s Sunday hangover early
By Elise Barbin,
9:00AM, Mon. Oct. 7, 2019
Don’t mistake the early set time. Opening the day three mainstage remains no easy feat. Tack on a 90-degree swelter plus index and the midday sun beaming straight overhead. As such, Julia Jacklin and her group certainly outperformed their circumstances on Sunday.
Beginning with some subtler songs, the Aussie bandleader’s warble and 4/4 strums woke up the steadily trickling in audience slowly. Third song “You Were Right” began to gain some traction as the tempo kicked up and Jacklin’s vocals switched into full-body-belt mode. Somewhere between the scorch and the song, a string broke on her butterscotch Telecaster, which sported a simple motivational mantra scribbled in Sharpie on masking tape: “I got this.”
The shredder commanded an effortless cool bedecked in a plaid skirt and polo combo, with a pair of her native Blundstone boots. To complement that, her self-deprecating charm couldn’t help but win over the audience. At one point, she quipped about the constant Jumbotron close-ups of musicians roasting onstage.
“Always good for the self-esteem to see that footage.”
Meanwhile, in the huge field in front of the Honda stage, paper fans waved fruitlessly through the air. People stuck to patches of shade few and far between. Festival attendants hurled out water bottles to the crowd as if it were Mardi Gras.
Three-quarters of the way through the 45-minute set, Jacklin found herself sans her all-Canadian backing band on the dwarfing mainstage. There, she took on the heart wrenching “Don’t Let the Kids Win,” the title track to her 2016 Polyvinyl debut.
That pure gut punch began to break the ice and by the riotous finale “Pressure to Party,” the quartet at long last knocked the Sunday hangover out of the crowd. And no good deed goes without reward. Looks like weekend two’s temperatures may turn ACL into a fall fest – for once.