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R&B up-and-comer R.LUM.R realizes ACL Fest destiny

Eric Pulsifer

Nashville’s R.LUM.R (pronounced “R. Lamar,” as in the pairing of his first initial and middle name: Reginald Lamar Williams, Jr) turned his small stretch of grass into a hopping dance floor during his Saturday afternoon set at ACL Fest 2017.

“This is destiny,” Williams joked, as a cloak of clouds and a breeze cooled down the growing crowd for his first non-South by Southwest show in Austin.

The break in the heat paired with Williams’ magnetic stage presence and his honey-sweet falsetto drew an ever-increasing crowd to the BMI Stage—and attracted the most high-pitched crowd woooo’s and sweaty public displays of affection I’ve seen so far this festival.Williams was all smiles, confident, cheerful and clearly touched to see the energetic, engaged audience he had drawn in. “Austin, it feels like you know how to let go and have a good time—and we need that.”

R.LUM.R’s smooth, adult R&B sound and songs of love and love lost bring to mind the likes of ACL alums Jack Garratt,Gallant, orSam Smith.

Before closing with their biggest hit, “Frustrated,” R.LUM.R’s Williams dismissed the band for a two-song solo guitar performance, including a soulful, simmering cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You.”