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Austin City Limits Day 2: Skyler Day Makes True Connections

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On day two of Austin City Limits, Skyler Day greets festivalgoers with a soothing voice and relatable lyrics.

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By Cy White, Photos by Cy White

It’s nearly noon. The day has already been long. Music and the sounds of cheers provide a constant rumble in the background. Like thunder, the sounds continue to creep in tension and intensity as the day continues. Noon creeps up on festivalgoers softly, a midday sun made less harsh by remnant clouds from first-day rains. For those milling about, the experience is overwhelming. So much to see, hear, do. So much to taste and feel. At just past noon, 12:15 p.m., it’s already a lot to handle.

Wandering listlessly through the Zilker Park grounds, one meanders over to the T-Mobile stage. There’s a small, respectable crowd already immersed in the sounds coming from the elevated platform. A young woman, clad in flowers, sings softly. Emits a sound that’s at once calming and invigorating.

Introducing Skyler Day

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Skyler Day is the kind of artist that can get lost in the shuffle. Besides the floral pattern wrapped around her, there’s nothing ostentatious or overtly “showy” of the woman. She’s not a powerhouse vocalist or a seasoned diva. She’s a troubadour, her intimate performance focused more on lyrics and melody. The audience is entranced, singing along to words as relatable as the warmth of the sun on the skin.

Mrs. Day exudes an effervescence that leaves those in attendance even more enamored of the soft-voiced singer. (This is her first festival, after all. And her excitement is palpable.) Her voice is like dandelion fluff in the wind: soft, lovely and floating wistfully among the crowd. It lands in your hair, tickles your neck and leaves playful butterfly kisses on your nose.

It’s difficult to not describe her without devolving into fantastical descriptions. Butterflies and dandelions and the like. But you have to understand, when Skyler Day alights the stage, there’s a sudden lightness. The sensory overload of being at ACL, as eventful as it is, can begin to weigh on the mind. Coming into the second day and seeing Mrs. Day is like being comforted by a friend. Someone who will speak to you kindly and listen just as eagerly. Her music is by no means dainty.

“We will get through this together.”

Though her voice is airy, there isn’t any fluff. This is honest music about isolation, love lost (and scorned) and finding one’s way in a world that seems to get crazier by the day. The subject matter is familiar, daunting for sure. However, Skyler Day delivers her message in a way that’s not preachy or even stilted and jaded. It’s full of warmth. A performance style that says, “I know you. I am you. We will get through this together.”

At the end of Skyler Day’s set, one believes they can brave the wildness of the weekend. Or at the very least they depart her performance lighter and more confident that they won’t be overly bombarded. More than anything, though, a feeling of familiarity ripples through the audience. Like each of us has spoken to a friend, that we’ve been truly heard and listened to. For the first time over the weekend, you walk away feeling truly connected to the artist on stage.

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