Frances Forever Gets the Wallflowers to Dance at ACL Fest
TikTok's “Space Girl” breakout charms on their biggest stage yet
By Alyssa Quiles,
9:05AM, Sun. Oct. 10, 2021
Opening the Honda stage under blistering UV rays, Frances Forever – adorned in blue jean vest and bottoms, and a pink, bedazzled cowboy hat crown – emerged to a small crowd of Zoomers and began playing “Depression,” though the singer was all smiles throughout their ACL Fest slot.
Same offstage: the doo-wop-esque track had the young audience feeling anything but depressed as they swayed to and fro.
And so it was, until the 22-year-old broke out the ukulele, quoting Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower to introduce the heartbreaking inspiration of the next track. “I accepted a love I didn’t deserve,” they stated with a slight chuckle. “This is an apology to my past self.” Each rapturing falsetto of “My Condolences to Myself” was met with encouraging cheers, moving some festival-goers close to tears.
As people arrived and the sun made its way across the sky, energies heightened. No topic was left untouched, from dating musicians (“Treehouse”) to the frustration of the stupidity one can only experience when working retail with “Eat the Rich” and more personal anxieties as heard in “Frankenstein Wannabe.” Dancing ensued, and the audience was given a taste of what’s to come with energetic guitars and grooves in the unreleased “Certified Fool.”
The bedroom-pop bandleader, otherwise known as Frances Garrett, wound into the TikTok tune that launched them into the spotlight. As “Space Girl” rang through the park, a small group of teens moved to their own line-dance, while others attempted to join in. Lost in the sound waves of the title track of their latest EP, paranoia party, the performer and crowd were caught by surprise when the sound was cut off for going one minute over time. The now-substantial audience let out a cry of disappointment, but were made aware of Garrett’s lasting appreciation with silent thank yous and endless air kisses.