Going the bulk of her career hiding in plain sight, 27-year-old Chicago rapper Fatimah Nyeema Warner continues to undergo the slow process of revealing who she actually is – on her terms, of course. Her 2:45pm date Friday at the HomeAway stage further exposed a natural conversationalist with perhaps generational talent.
The first festival Nicole Atkins ever played was ACL Fest 2007, and the Asbury Park, NJ., native made a splash with a set that recalled her city’s most famous son, Bruce Springsteen. For her return early on the festival’s second Friday, Atkins began her BMI stage set evoking another of her hometown’s heroes: Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.
Big Thief didn’t return to a second weekend of ACL to invigorate. Instead, they offered decompression. On the festival’s second Friday, the Brooklyn indie rock quartet congregated unassumingly in the center of the Barton Springs stage, with no adornments aside from an assortment of amps and speakers that made them appear smaller.
Born Robert B. Rivkin in Minneapolis in 1956, “Butzie” met up with
Prince Rogers Nelson in 1977 and became his Andy Newmark a la Sly & the Family Stone: white drummer in a multi-racial/-cultural R&B band. He appeared on seven Prince LPs between Dirty Mind and Sign O' the Times. “Z” and a reformed Revolution rally ACL’s Tito’s tent on Sunday, 6pm.
Travis Scott’s music is too sporadic, momentary, and Auto-Tuned to succeed anywhere but within the ephemeral conscious of the smartphone generation. His weekend one closing set on Sunday proved songs are merely the Houston rapper’s overture.
Arctic Monkeys’ brilliant but divisive sixth studio album, this year’s Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, set up their fourth ACL Fest appearance on Sunday and begged the question whether the intimate, lounge-y concept album would translate across a festival field or even mesh with their previous arena-rocked hits.
Shakey Graves once packed the back room of Hole in the Wall, often dressed in suspenders and toting his suitcase kick drum. That rise from a local pub darling to legitimate rock star seemed to be on the troubadour’s mind at his sprawling Sunday evening ACL set on the relatively intimate Barton Springs stage.