“I’ve always wondered why people aren’t allowed to just love who they love,” Nigerian/British soul singer Jacob Banks said before his Austin City Limits Music Festival set on Sunday.
He describes his new EP, “The Boy Who Cried Freedom” as “an outcry for love in the most basic way.” A good crowd gathered at the front of Barton Springs stage to feel the love, while more fest-goers clustered under the shade trees at his early afternoon set.
“Where we are in the world politically and as the human race I think people are asking for the most basic rights and they’re being denied to them,” he said before the show. “For example, what happened in Vegas the other day. I want to just go watch a show, I’d prefer to not get shot. Don’t (expletive) shoot me.”
With his deep voice aching with emotion, he serenaded the crowd with powerful originals like “Mercy” and “Part Time Love,” and threw in a reggae-slanted cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” during his ACL set.
Love was in the air, which he said is always his aim for his sets.
“Music is one of the very few things that bring people together,” he said before the show.
“We’re unified by our love of music. So you come to my show, I hope you talk to someone who you never thought you’d talk to and realize that we’re so much more alike than we are separate. If you don’t have a friend I hope my music will keep you company. I hope people just leave more together than when they came. That’s the whole thing.”