A resolution for ACL Fest: Book more "Dancing With the Stars" contestants.
OK, it might not make much sense to schedule Adam Rippon or Rick Perry for a sunset spot in Zilker Park. Nor do I want to be reductive about the talents of ever-rising hip-hop diva Tinashe, who's currently competing on the ABC show. She must be an excellent multitasker, because Tinashe's hustle brought her to ACL Fest on Sunday for one of the most nakedly professional performances of the weekend.
The lady came with her own sizzle reel. How many non-headliners come with their own sizzle reel?
Oversized shades, a Mondrian-esque tracksuit and a crew of dancers straight out of "Step Up" seemed to say, "Yes, I've done this many times before, thanks for asking." Tinashe led with "Ride Of Your Life" and "Party Favors," two raunchy party-starters with a thesis: She is better than you, whoever you are, at whatever we might be talking about.
"Going extra hard, we not just ordinary," she sang. "They don't go as hard as I do," she followed up. Correct. She really had a point. Enough dudes in black T-shirts thrashing their guitars to warmed-over alt-radio anthems! Let's have more dropping, bending, body-rolling and silky-smooth vocal runs all at the same time.
Even if Tinashe was something of an outlier on the festival schedule stylistically, she might have best symbolized the ACL ethos. If all your friends were wasted Sunday, so were Tinashe's, according to her, during a number where her dance crew brought out plastic cups of liquor. (Or juice that looked a lot like liquor.) Were you perhaps faded on Sunday? Don't answer, we wouldn't want you to get in trouble, but Tinashe got you and your particularly smoky state of mind. She dedicated a mid-set streak to a press-play-on-the-Spotify-playlist run of songs that were only sometimes barely covers (she sang a few bars of "No Scrubs" by TLC but mostly led a singalong to the track) and mostly excuses to pump up the Miller Lite stage audience ("Nice For What" worked like a charm; "Mi Gente" meant it was time to get back to the show).
It was a curious move, because Tinashe certainly doesn't need a jukebox to pick up any slack from her. Perhaps her two most well-known songs, "All Hands On Deck" and "2 On," waited until the end of the set to show their faces. They were worth four "10" scores, a Tony, a Grammy, a People's Choice Award and maybe a Nobel of some sort. Tinashe's athleticism was on full display, to the point that you wondered why you don't get more dance spectaculars at ACL Fest.
In short: Tell America to give this woman a mirror ball trophy, already.