ACL Liveshot: Miley Cyrus ‘Can’t Be Tamed’


Kara Hawley

Miley Cyrus performs during Weekend 1 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Oct. 1.

Fiza Kuzhiyil, Life and Arts Editor

When 8 p.m. rolls around at Zilker Park Friday night, chants erupt from the crowd of thousands.

“Mi-ley, Mi-ley, Mi-ley.”

The intro to “We Can’t Stop” plays as flashing lights and spotlights beam into the crowd. After a drawn out opening, Cyrus struts on stage in a bright pink bodysuit and knee high heels, drawing screams from the crowd as people push forward for a closer look at their icon.

Cyrus owns the ACL stage like she’s throwing a party. Dragging the mic stand with her, the singer interacts with her band and sings into the camera on stage to make it look like she’s staring into the crowd. Cyrus  stops and points her mic at the crowd during every song, encouraging the crowd to sing and dance with her.

The pop star gives so much into her performance that she stops multiple times within each song to catch her breath. But when Cyrus falls off beat or omits words, the audience sings it louder. That’s her power — she could just play the track and the crowd would still sing the words back to her.

When Cyrus thanked the crowd for coming she said, “some of us may have grown up together.” The former Disney star’s show, “Hannah Montana,” ran from 2006 to 2011, making current college-aged festival-goers her prime audience.

As she plays her 2009 song “The Climb,” it sounds like everyone in the crowd recalls every word even now, 12 years later. While rain drizzles on the crowd, there isn’t a dry eye in the crowd as some people fight through tears, but still sing the words back to her.

The crowd screams at the first few notes of decade-old hits like “7 Things” and “Party in The USA”, showing the impact of her songs on Generation Z. And thousands of fans jump in tandem with Cyrus during bass boosted songs like “Can’t Be Tamed” and “Wrecking Ball,” showing the impact of her charm on young people.

Paying tribute to music’s past with her big hairdo and covers of Blondie and Janis Joplin, Cyrus puts on less of a show and more of a party. When she tips her pink cowboy hat and struts off stage, she leaves the crowd wanting to come back to see her again for Weekend Two.