PinkPantheress’ angelic live vocals fail to make up for low-energy ACL performance


Leila Saidane

PinkPantheress performs on the T-Mobile stage at Austin City Limits on October 9, 2022.

Sage Dunlap, Life and Arts Associate Editor

Coming off the success of her 2021 debut mixtape to hell with it, pop novice PinkPantheress took to the ACL stage for the first time on Sunday. Known for her Y2K-aesthetics and glitchy lullabies, the singer’s lofi pop sound translated into an ultimately sleepy set void of on-stage energy. 

Only accompanied by a DJ, the burden of mustering energy from the crowd primarily fell on the shoulders of PinkPantheress herself. The young singer-songwriter approached her performance with a casual, disarming demeanor, joking with the crowd about her dirty, off-white Crocs and taking time to compliment her DJ’s mixes. 

The soloist showcased limited choreography, typically strutting across the stage to the beat of her catchy electronic loops. When performing “Passion,” a song from her mixtape, she flaunted her black tracksuit, occasionally striking a pose alongside the upstage DJ booth. While the artist’s soft, angelic vocals did not warrant any high-energy choreo, the absence of both any engaging production or on-stage movement was ultimately reflected in the audience, resulting in a largely stagnant, low-energy crowd. Despite efforts from both PinkPantheress and her DJ to amp up attendees, the crowd responded to the performance with very little dancing or cheers — a sight not typically associated with a pop performance. 

PinkPantheress seemingly noticed the crowd’s lack of energy, even pointing out people leaving her set between songs. When performing her hit single “Just for me,” the DJ brought the song to a screeching halt after one verse, requesting more liveliness from the audience and restarting — a playful move that did, in fact, muster more energy from the crowd. 

A majority of the crowd responded to fan-favorites like Willow collaboration “Where you are.” While her performance only lasted 30 minutes — half the time displayed on the festival’s schedule — the artist’s overall lack of movement and stage presence resulted in a sluggish set.