ACL Live Review: Duckwrth
Soul-punk communion doesn’t exhaust individuality
By Rick Weaver,
11:30AM, Mon. Oct. 14, 2019
Cold front over, a Sunday afternoon audience bounced and bathed in lingering summer as Jared Lee sprung hits made from sunshine. “I want a sundae on a Saturday,” he sang to a concentration of largely teenage energy gathered close around the T-Mobile stage. “Butterscotch, cinnamon, sun-dried dates.”
With commitment at arm’s length and one foot in the circle pit, the Falling Man of his most recent EP flirted on the outskirts of affection, falling in love one night at a time. The South Central blond-haired bard rolled rap, pop, and R&B poetry into optimistic aphrodisiacs of newfound romance ranging from lusty to gushy.
“I just wanna be, I just wanna be yours, for the night,” he insisted in the coy and charming, sweet not bitter “Michuul.” In perpetual fleeting embrace, he peeled “Crush” with a touch of Outkast zest.
As Lee superpowered across the stage with the mic stand as a prop, his backing band baited catch-and-release hooks like “Throwyoassout” and “Tamagotchi” with guitar, keys, and beats. Eric Fells wedged virtuosic synth runs and JHawk crunched rock guitar between wild rhymes like “flying saucers” and “Yonkers.” Anthony Dragons hyped up the foundation and fashioned the frame as DJ.
At the drop of “Love Is Like a Mosh Pit,” what else but a mosh pit broke out and circulated in the crowd. Though it dissipated before the end of the verse, the metaphor thrived as a guidepost for Duckwrth’s soul-punk worldview, where physical communion doesn’t exhaust individuality, and the push and pull of feelings affirm life.