Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Liveshot: Tate McRae’s stage presence, youthful energy charm Austin audience

Liveshot%3A+Tate+McRae%E2%80%99s+stage+presence%2C+youthful+energy+charm+Austin+audience
Courtesy of RCA Records

From the dark, a screen flashes on, showing glimpses of indistinguishable movement. Suddenly, the audience speeds down a runway, watching the world go by through a plane window. A silhouette of Canadian singer-songwriter Tate McRae appears. In mere seconds, the silhouette dissolves into McRae herself.

McRae brought ACL Live at the Moody Theater, a Saturday night full of youthful beats and dance-worthy hip-hop to match the vibrance of Austin. She packed her nearly hour-and-twenty-minute set with excitement and few breaks. The fast-paced show kept the audience jumping, dancing and swaying the entire run.

Masterfully mixing live and electronic visual and audio elements throughout the show, every moment captivated the crowd. A screen spanned the back of the stage, acting as an ever-changing backdrop, complimenting the unique elements of each song. Sharing the stage with a two-person band made up of only drums and an electric guitar, the accompaniment never felt empty. A soundboard filled empty space and live elements added dimension to create a textured sound. With the audio and visual layers covered, McRae’s performance shined.


Starting with “uh oh,” McRae foreshadowed the range the rest of the set had in store. Utilizing every inch of the stage, McRae’s expressive body language, frequent dance breaks and emotive vocals grabbed the audience’s attention and kept it the entire night. McRae’s background in competitive dance seemed evident in her command of the crowd and unwavering stage presence. 

After an upbeat first few songs, McRae slowed the pace while keeping the energy to introduce “feel like shit.” Thinking back to her freshly 18 year old self, moving to Los Angeles and experiencing her first true heartbreak, McRae recounted the difficulty of writing songs that capture her emotions. Finally, she realized she simply “felt like shit,” and thus, the song came about. McRae’s breathy vocals fit the slow song just as much as the punchy ones. 

After spending the whole first half dancing back and forth across the stage, McRae then took a seat next to her electric guitarist to sing “boy x” and “chaotic,” creating an intimate feel. Transitioning between the slower songs and the beginning of her upbeat hits, McRae performed  “go away” as the screen behind projected the image of a moving road. McRae stood stationary at its center, communicating that life continues on, ready or not. 

The rest of the set came at full speed, leaving the audience bouncing and singing along until the end. McRae finished with “she’s all i want to be” before an encore of TikTok hits “greedy” and “you broke me first.” After thanking the audience for their energy, McRae said goodnight, with the electric atmosphere lingering in the air.

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