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Tobe Nwigwe Won Austin City Limits And It’s Not Even Close

Tobe Nwigwe Won Austin City Limits And It’s Not Even Close

When it comes to Austin City Limits, it’s easy for all eyes to be on the headliners. In this case, bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kacey Musgraves, SZA and even Paramore commanded a lot of attention, and understandably so. Veteran performers with long strings of hits are the bedrock of any music festival. But oftentimes, it’s the bands in the smaller poster font you really want to pay attention to, and that was the case here.

The winner of the best ACL set goes to Houston-based rapper Tobe Nwigwe for delivering the most memorable performance of the weekend.

Nwigwe has been honing his craft over the last few years, and his ACL performance is proof that he’s carving his own lane. If you’ve seen any of his televised performances or been lucky enough to catch a live show, you know what we’re talking about. From the moment the band, dancers and Gospel choir appeared on the ACL stage (all in Nwigwe’s signature mint green) it was clear that something extraordinary was going to happen. And happen, it did.

Every song from Nwigwe’s considerable catalog of bone-jangling, soul-stirring hip-hop was taken to the next level in this live set. The combined might of his own fierce flow, his mesmerizing back-up singers or his special guests (including his kids) raised the bar not just for what an ACL set could look like, but what a concert experience can be.

Because with Nwigwe, you’re drawn to more than just his musical talent. He has a vision for the entire production that was unlike anything else at the festival. Instead of relying on flashy background videos, Nwigwe transformed the stage into a lush garden with verdant grass and shrubs serving as a backdrop for the band. The dancers in green looked like trees dancing in the wind, and Nwigwe and his wife Fat coordinated their floral fits to the whole vibe. It’s art in motion that flows from the pure love of the craft, the dedication of everyone on stage and a vision of a different kind of live show.

 

The community on stage was thrilling to behold, and it’s a shame there weren’t more people there to witness it. The crowd should have been at least three times bigger, but everyone who was able to see Nwigwe on stage is definitely still talking about it.

Highlights abounded. It’s hard to pick just one stand-out song because each was better than the last. From “Been Broke” to “Try Jesus” to his Houston Tribute Medley, Nwigwe was more than prepared to leave his mark on ACL.

If you’re lucky enough to catch him for his weekend two performance, you surely won’t regret it. In fact, it might be the best decision you make all weekend.

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