The Austin Chronicle

ACL Live Review: Lizzo

By Isa Jones, October 14, 2019, 10:35am, Earache!

There remained one word on everyone’s lips after weekend one of ACL Fest: Lizzo.

Accounts of the star ascending into pop’s pantheon spread through town like music itself, and during her hour of “going to church” (as she termed it during that first Sunday), half of Austin must have been there. Footage of Kacey Musgraves, who had just played across the grounds, standing side stage and singing along even spread online.

In an effort to control the swell of crowds for weekend two, ACL added extra speakers and promised to stream her set on the massive LED screens of the nearby Honda stage. The question, then, is did Ms. Melissa Jefferson of Detroit, Houston, and Minneapolis make her second appearance at Zilker Park as memorable as her first?

Oh, you know she did.

Greeting the crowd with “Hi bitch,” the high priestess of self-affirmation exceeded all possible hopes. First came a rendition of the title track from April career-maker Cuz I Love You, wherein she showed off her pipes. Then she brought out the backup dancers to show off her moves. The singer declared it a “shame free” hour before running through hit after hit that got the massive crowd dancing and singing along to every line all the way back to the middle of the Honda stage area.

After asking if word about the added screens were true, Lizzo led all that humanity into what might be the first full wave done at an ACL Fest. She herself admitted to being baffled as the wave kept going back and back and back. That bought out her mantra:

“I love you. You are beautiful. You can do anything,” she intoned, cementing herself as the spokesperson for good vibes and self-love before declaring, “Let’s sing the number one song in the country!”

For weekend two, she skipped the bridge of “Truth Hurts,” opting for her extensive flute solo instead. So began her lead-in to the final jam, “Juice.”

No one could’ve predicted Lizzo’s wave would crest in Austin over two weekends in October. For one, such scheduling occurred well in advance of Cuz I Love You dropping. As such, her missing the main stage slot didn’t matter.

The enormous crowd still showed, and so did Lizzo. Half the festival – from teens and adults to whole families – belting out the chorus to “Truth Hurts” transcended all logistics, questions, concerns. Forget the headliners, Lizzo is the uncontested queen of ACL Fest 2019.


Sunday, Oct. 13, 7pm, Miller Lite stage

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