In the sweltering midday heat of Day One at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Adrianne Lenker and the rest of her Brooklyn-based indie folk rock band Big Thief brought equal parts communal softness and rock 'n' roll passion to their 12:45 set at the Barton Springs stage.
Lenker’s signature intricate, personal lyricism guided the one-hour set, as she channeled the powerful confessional folk icons of decades past. But the band surprised crowds with just how rocking they were as well. Lenker flexed her guitar virtuosity with three separate solos — one of which was done while the rest of her band was completely silent, allowing her to really shine — that all drew raucous applause.
Big Thief balanced things out with a good number of tender and haunting odes, and Lenker expressed wave after wave of appreciation for a crowd that was genuinely passionate to see the band play. Each of the many times a fan shouted, “I love you,” Lenker gently and earnestly peeped “Love you” right back.
MORE: Check out all our ACL Fest 2018 coverage