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Jade Bird kicks off Saturday at ACL Fest's second weekend with a big bang of sound

Five minutes past noon, Jade Bird was ready to rock.

Taking the T-Mobile stage at ACL Fest on Saturday, the Austin-via-England singer-songwriter hit the ground running with a four-piece backing band and a set of songs that got early-arrivers charged up quickly.

Small in size but with a big voice that easily carried across the spacious Zilker Park grounds, Bird ran through a 40-minute set of songs focused on her new album "Different Kinds of Light," rarely pausing for more than a quick hello or a timely aside. (I've been practicing my Doja Cat," she said in reference to another festival performer playing later Saturday.)

Jade Bird performs at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

Just 24, Bird has quickly become a pop sensation since winning South by Southwest's coveted Grulke Prize in 2018. She moved here late last year, and in June she taped an episode of the "Austin City Limits" TV show that will air Saturday night on PBS stations nationwide. (In a sublime twist of fate, she shares her TV episode with Austin pop upstarts Dayglow, who also are playing the festival Saturday. We're pretty sure that's the first time a festival/TV-show same-day doubleheader has happened.)

ACL TV:New Austinite Jade Bird wins big with a splendid 'Austin City Limits' taping

Bird brought full-band force to immediately catchy numbers such as "Headstart," from the new album, and "Lottery," from her self-titled 2019 Glassnote Records debut. Perhaps the set's high point was "Now Is the Time," a recent single from the new record with an immediately catchy chorus that plays up the more melodic elements of Bird's voice and songwriting.

ACL Fest might have been well-served to give Bird a later time slot and a full hour; typically, acts big enough to play the TV show get such placement, and it would've given Bird a little more time to change up the dynamics with a couple of acoustic numbers. Still, there was something glorious about the pedal-to-the-metal pace of her set. Those heading off to other shows at 1 p.m. already were filled with more energy than a six-pack of Red Bulls could provide.

MORE:Our 2021 interview with Jade Bird