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Tor Miller and his piano take on ACL solo

Eric Pulsifer

A small but attentive crowd was drawn to the dry ground under the Zilker Tent by the massive voice of young pianist and singer Tor Miller. Miller’s heart-on-sleeve piano balladry from New York, New York, provided a warm slice of intimacy in a noisy place, with the distant tremor of bass from the main stages battling with the low end of Tor’s keys.

“I was praying for a little more rain. Since I have a tent, I thought it might get some more people in here,” Tor joked as he started. The crowd may have been smaller in number, but all eyes were glued to Miller during his mid-afternoon set.

Checking a digital setlist on his phone and wearing a black T-shirt and designer sneakers, Miller isn’t your father’s piano man — though if your dad digs piano-playing crooners, he’d probably take no issue with Tor. Though the songs were on the slower side and devoid of any danceable qualities, things never felt sleepy.

Miller’s unique voice is the star in this minimal setup and sounds a little (dare I say) Prince like when he hits the high notes. That strange but satisfying voice coupled with a handsome face surely isn’t hurting Tor. His fans, who skewed younger and female-r, were restrained but rabid, lining up after his show to snap pictures and get a hug or kiss his cheek. (Miller used his shirt to wipe the cherry-colored stamp of lipstick off with his face between Instagram snaps.)