Hot. Damn. The moment rapper Duckwrth bounded onto the T-Mobile stage at 1:15 pm in the sweltering sun, wearing a forest great outfit with pink socks and yellow sneakers, it felt like the world stopped -- or, really, like the world had been frozen until that moment and now it was starting for the first time.
That’s how much energy this guy has. People swarmed to join the crowd as soon as the music started, drawn in by his furious, flawless performance of “Tamagotchi.” From there, the bangers kept coming and they didn’t stop; Duckwrth’s precision delivery, crisp flow and stunning physicality put not only most other ACL acts -- but even dozens of former and current ACL headliners -- completely to shame.
If ever I’ve seen a starmaking performance, it was this one. His flow, his crowd work, the sexy-ass guitar and some truly fire hooks. From “MICHUUL.” “I just wanna throw my hands/I just want a mic with a stand/ I just wanna/ I just I just wanna catch one glance/ I just wanna see u dance, girl.” I think he had stripped off his shirt by the point, and ohhhh my lord. Sweltering.
At one point, the performer lamented that it was “hot as the devil’s intentions out here,” and that statement didn’t just apply to the weather. (It’s hard not to be cheesy when writing about someone who blew you away as thoroughly as Duckwrth did me.)
The performer covered every inch of the stage with moves that were equal parts smooth and foxy and hard as hell. Duckwrth is a rapper, but he’s also a punk mf-er. On “SOPRANO” he sings “Yo’ mama told you not to listen to secular music, the Devil's in the trap... Black Sabbath on vinyl, AC/DC in the summer/Killa Cam in the winter, this is what you always wanted.”
There was literally not a single mediocre or dull moment during Duckwrth’s set. Even smoother songs and ones with more loving or lustful lyrics landed impeccably. When he sang “A crush is my favorite sound” on the appropriately titled crush, I felt it. Duckwrth is my new favorite sound.