Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage
Texas Chapter Members Who Took The Stage At ACL Fest 2021
After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin City Limits Music Festival returned to its namesake for two sold out weekends at the top of October. C3 Presents put forth a stellar lineup of over 90 musical acts — but with a special emphasis this year on local and statewide pride.
Eleven Recording Academy Texas Chapter members took to the eight stages, including GRAMMY winners Asleep at the Wheel, Erykah Badu and George Strait. Austin’s own David Ramirez, Missio and Riders Against the Storm also performed. Here are five other memorable performances from Texas artists:
62nd GRAMMYs Best New Artist Nominee Black Pumas riveted crowds with their soulful performance of tracks off their 2019 debut self-titled album. The psychedelic R&B duo consists of guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and singer/songwriter Eric Burton. The duo is so beloved by locals that Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared May 7th to be Black Pumas Day earlier this year. On top of a lively set with a five-piece backing band, Burton surprised fans with a beautiful solo rendition of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” which he used to perform regularly during his busking days down on Sixth Street before making it big.
Latin GRAMMY-nominated pop artist Gina Chavez gave a high-energy bilingual performance of fan favorites from her Up.Rooted album, as well as songs from her first fully Spanish EP, La Que Manda.
“It felt incredible to headline the BMI stage at ACL this year!” she said in a backstage interview. “[Project Runway’s] Brittany Allen custom fit me with the kind of epic pink pants that change lives, and my band basically left the stage in flames! We showed out for my hometown! And I love that the height of our set was a chingona version of ‘La Que Manda’ and a brand-new remix of fan-favorite ‘Siete-D,’ both Spanish-language songs that truly stretch the idea of what Latin music sounds like in Texas.”
Megan Thee Stallion
Houston’s pride and joy, Bey and Jay’s protégé and three-time GRAMMY-winning rap sensation Megan Thee Stallionmore than made up for no-showing her ACL 2019 slot with her twerktastic 2021 performance on the Honda stage. “Without Texas, there would be no Megan Thee Stallion,” she said of her beloved home state at the top of her Friday night set. After making a gaggle of fans’ dreams come true by inviting them up on stage to break it down alongside her, the cherry on the cake came when none other than Miley Cyrus crashed the stage to get in on the booty action.
Superfonicos at ACL Fest 2021. Photo: Greg Noire
The always entertaining Afro-Colombian funk band Superfonicos balance their ecstatic music with politics of peace and unity — a perfect combination for a festival like ACL. The eight-piece ensemble brought the groove back to Zilker Park for their sophomore ACL performance. The band excited onlookers during their set with an announcement that they’re working on a follow-up to their 2018 debut EP, Suelta. Doubling up on the excitement, they noted that they’re working with Black Pumas guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada at his South Austin studio, Electric Deluxe Recorders.
Bluesy indie rocker and slide guitar aficionado Zach Person impressed festival-goers with a captivating first ACL Fest performance. Stripped down to a simple guitar-drums duo with collaborative partner Jake Wyble, Person performed heartfelt versions of songs from his 2021 debut self-titled album.
“Performing at ACL has always been a dream of mine since I first moved to the city in 2017,” he said after his set. “The history surrounding the fest and the list of artists that have travelled to perform it are astounding. To now become a part of that legacy is an incredible honor.”
This article is presented in conjunction with the Recording Academy's Texas Chapter, which celebrates Texan music and artists; delivers unique programming and opportunities to active members, industry professionals of all trades, and the next generation throughout the state; and enriches the music community through outreach and advocacy.