A fully-mirrored staircase and her name in bold letters characterized Azalea’s setup at the RetailMeNot stage at 5:30 p.m.. Beginning with “F--- Love,” the rapper was flanked by an entire entourage of backup singers and dancers clad in garments matching the emboldened sign in the back.
Azalea is perhaps best known for her singles, which also contain prominent guest features from some of music’s greatest talent like Charli XCX, T.I. and Ariana Grande. But today she rocked the stage solo. Azalea took the crowd through several cuts from her 2014 debut album, The New Classic, including “Change Your Life,” “My World,” and “Don’t Need Y’all,” with air cannons punctuating the bass drops and synchronized dance moves between Azalea and her background dancers keeping audiences on their toes.
Beck Warms Up 2014 ACL Music Festival With Rocking Performance at Stubb’s
“You know it’s been a while since I was in Texas,” she says to the crowd in her patented thick buttery Australian accent. “You look good, can we make it bounce?” she asked before launching into the twerk-heavy “Bounce.”
Azalea began to finish the set with “Work,” her mid-2013 hit that effectively began a career that would eventually put her on par with The Beatles as the only other artist in Billboard Hot 100 history to rank No. 1 (“Fancy”) and No. 2 (“Problem”) with her first two debut singles. When she first sang the track’s lyrics -- “No money, no family. 16 in the middle of Miami” -- did she ever imagine she would rise to where she is to today?
If Azalea’s set was supposed to be an engaging, dance-filled fun extravaganza, Del Rey’s set at the Samsung Galaxy stage (where Eminem performed later in the evening) was the exact opposite. At 6:30 p.m., pop’s wooziest chanteuse casually crept from the wings along with her band to open with one of her earliest works “Cola,” from her 2012 EP, Paradise.
If someone in the audience made a bet that Del Rey would say fewer than 20 words directly to the crowd throughout her entire 50-minute set they would probably be correct. Wearing a powder green Grande-style short skirt and taking long, purposeful drags on a cigarette in a most melodramatic style, the singer cycled through hits like “West Coast and “Ultraviolence.” Each song seamless bled into the next, with her low octave voice significantly altering the mood of the festival. It was a fitting vibe as the sun dipped below the horizon.
“You guys are so amazing, so fun to be here,” she said at the end of her set before concluding with “National Anthem.”
It’s hard to hold a crowd’s attention in a sweltering day-long crowded festival setting, and both Azalea and Del Rey did so with their own unique brand of pop music. Azalea by creating a mini-pop showcase with all the trimmings of what one might expect out of an arena show, and Del Rey by easing audiences into the evening with her patented lounge singer style.
Here is Iggy Azalea’s ACL Music Festival 2014 setlist:
“Don’t Need Y’all”
“Change Your Life”
“Drop That Shit”
Here is Lana Del Rey’s ACL Music Festival 2014 setlist:
“Born To Die”
“Million Dollar Man”