“Ye Haw” erupts from a crowd of fans who possibly let the phrase leave their lips for the very first time. But these fans will do anything for Ethel Cain.
“We’re in Texas, so I know you guys get a bit country!”
Americana pop artist Ethel Cain took the stage at IGH for her first ACL performance. The singer's long brown hair covers her face and her hands are held behind her back. She hears the applause of the crowd and patiently awaits her moment to rise.
The southern Gothic star begins her set with A House in Nebraska, a tender memorial to a memory of a moment framed in a rundown house out west.
The singer drives home this point with a looped video compilation of broken washers, borderline abandoned wooden shacks and an American flag water tower over a luscious tree line. Cain cuts through the serene setting, standing tall and presumably at peace in an environment she loves.
Upon catching a glimpse of the video playing behind her, Cain remarks, “every time I look at this thing I wonder ‘why did I cut my hair.’”
Cain rushed down to the front row - opting for a more intimate concert experience. The roar of fans changing, “I’m the reason you won’t come home,” also doubled as a pitch to the artist if she ever wanted to call Texas hers.
We know she’s a fan of the barbecue, “I got Terry Blacks last night and I am feeling good. Texas does the best barbecue by the way.”
The 25-year-old American Teenager stunned fans with her top hits from Preacher’s Daughter. Thoroughfare got the most out of a young audience excited to hear an early Texas namedrop.
Greenscreens of grassy hills and open plains enforce the central idea behind Cain's set. The Florida-born singer's western expansion takes a pitstop in southern Texas. As comfortable as she is on Zilker greens, she’s more enthralled by the mysticism of the untamed West.
Her rhetorical question in the chorus, “Do you want to see the west with me?” could be heard past the Rockies, her growing fanbase is in. South by Southwest begins in March but Cain is pushing for the South to go Southwest right now.
Cain ends her moving 7 song set with Crush, her only song not of of 2022’s Preacher’s Daughter.
Before running along the barricade one last time she wishes Texas a goodbye. Steven the guitarist follows Bryan the drummer off stage as Cain gives one final look at the crowd.