Genre-fluid Remi Wolf is poised to be one of this year's ACL Fest breakouts
As the sun beat down Saturday on Zilker Park, a huge crowd massed for rising star Remi Wolf's 3:20 p.m. set.
Under a dayglow, bubble letter name logo, the 25-year-old singer bopped around the stage, flexing her vocal prowess and working the crowd like a pro.
Throughout the set she was a stylistic shape-shifter. She opened the set with "Rufufus," infusing a soulful R&B groove with rock vibes as she leaned into the power of her voice, alternately smoky and scream-y, while unwinding a tale of precarious girl on girl love.
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The bulk of her set straddled the boundaries between pop, rock and R&B, with Wolf exploring the range and character of her voice like a young Brittany Howard. But she clearly hails from the new generation of artists who ignore the trappings of genre as they search for their voice.
She screamed over electro fuzz and distortion on "Liquor Store," flexed her rhyme skills on "Monte Carlo" and tried to inspire a mosh pit with the punk infused "Quiet on Set."
She led the crowd in a passionate sing-along of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," but the audience also knew all the words to Wolf's own earworms like "Grumpy Old Man" and set closer "Shawty."
From a heat index point of view, Wolf drew a short straw with her set time. At one point, she remarked that her makeup was "melting everywhere." But based on the size and enthusiasm of her crowd and the raw skill she demonstrated with her performance, she seems poised to move up the roster quickly.