ACL Liveshot: Doja Cat flies audience to Planet Her


Kara Hawley

Doja Cat performs during Weekend 1 of the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Oct. 3.

Fiza Kuzhiyil, Life and Arts Editor

Under the Austin skyline, thousands of fans gathered at Lady Bird Stage six hours ahead of Doja Cat’s performance. As her crew set her stage with artificial plants, stragglers flowed in from the rest of the park for the highly anticipated act.

When the clock struck 6 p.m., the crowd pushed forward to get a glimpse of the rap star, causing commotion and chaos. Although security handed out water, some viewers left due to  the heat and commotion of the thick audience.

Eventually, her backup dancers —  clothed in corresponding and intentionally tattered bodysuits — got into formation, revealing the queen after a few notes of “Rules.” Rocking a beach-blonde bob, the singer started strong and engaged the crowd with every body roll and twerk.

Doja smiled at the crowd and invited them to Planet Her. Bangers like “Juicy” and “Get Into It (Yuh)” made the whole crowd jump. She drew screams of approval each moment, especially when she led the crowd in a chant of “Men ain’t shit” before transitioning into her latest hit “Ain’t Shit.” 

Sultry songs like “Streets” and “Bottom Bitch” showed the rapper at her best — dancing and embracing femininity. She moves slow and steady, and with each movement so delicate, her whole performance felt intimate.

Even though her songs play on the radio every day, she used different variations to keep them fresh, such as switching out a normal mic for a highly auto-tuned one to change her voice. She even brought out drums to play her own intro to fan favorite “Tia Tamera.”

 Closing with the 2019 hit “Say So,” Doja still manages to spice up the overplayed TikTok sound. A metal rendition feels refreshing.

Strutting back to the platform during her exit, the 25-year-old stopped and stared at the crowd, thanking them multiple times. Don’t worry, Doja — Austin City Limits will return to Planet Her next weekend.