The Black Pumas brought soul to President Joe Biden's and Vice President Kamala Harris' inauguration special, "Celebrate America," on Wednesday evening.
The breakout duo performed "Colors" off their 2019 debut album, "Black Pumas," in front of the classic Austin City Limits skyline backdrop at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in their hometown.
The band is made up of vocalist Eric Burton and Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada.
The Black Pumas were nominated for several Grammys in 2021 including Best American Roots Performance ("Colors"), Record of the Year ("Colors") and Album of the Year (Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition)). They were previously nominated for the coveted Best New Artist Grammy award in 2020, alongside Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Maggie Rogers, Rosalia, Tank and The Bangas, and Yola.
During the Jan. 20 performance, people from all over the country chimed in on social media to show the Black Pumas some love.
This band in Austin, though? The Black Pumas? Pure 🔥🔥🔥 #Inauguration— Karah Leigh (@Karah Leigh)1611194764.0
As if Tom Hanks can't heal the world enough, man, The Black Pumas from Austin TX. Big hugs everyone. #CelebratingAmerica— The Birk 🎼 (@The Birk 🎼)1611230592.0
Black Pumas repped Austin well tonight ♥️— ⭐️Noelle💫 (@⭐️Noelle💫)1611196381.0
The duo took to their own social media account later in the evening to acknowledge all their new followers and poke a little fun at their own performance with the iconic Bernie Sanders meme.
🤣🤣🤣 loved seeing so many people discover us last night! Thanks for the laugh @merrickales! https://t.co/iKsHPuvOeu— Black Pumas (@Black Pumas)1611247437.0
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As Texas gets ready to lift the mandatory mask mandate on March 10, food and bar workers gathered at the Texas Capitol to express their frustration with the lack of COVID-19 precautions without adequate access to the COVID-19 vaccine.The event, which began at 1 p.m. on Monday, was hosted by the Austin chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, Restaurant Organizing Project and The Amplified Sound Coalition.
Christa McWhirter<p>Crystal Maher, a member of the Restaurant Organizing Project, stands in front of the Texas Capitol to express to other protesters in attendance how not being eligible for a vaccine has impacted her ability to safely keep her job. </p>
Christa McWhirter<p>Kiara Collins, Eric Santos and Taylor Escamilla are all essential workers who have been questioning their safety in their workplace. As many of the other protesters, the three wore masks with the word "Expendable" on it. According to Collins, they were only given to essential workers in attendance to represent how they have been treated since the onset of COVID-19.</p>
Christa McWhirter<p>As Maher continues to introduce speakers, two essential workers who came out to support the protest, record as counter-protesters heckled the event's speakers.</p>
Christa McWhirter<p>Some of the counter-protesters in attendance were live streamers from InfoWars, an extremist organization, who heckled speakers until the rally dispersed. </p>
Christa McWhirter<p>A representative of the Del Valle Community Coalition spoke about the impact the lack of vaccine access has had on the Del Valle area. As she attempted to give her speech, anti-masking protesters yelled at her causing many people to attempt to block them out.</p>
Christa McWhirter<p>Protesters blocked the way of anti-mask counter protesters as they heckled the event's speakers and held "My Body My Choice" signs. "It's kind of insane how they're using 'my body, my choice.' It doesn't only affect you. So it's not just your body," Taylor Escamilla said.</p>
Christa McWhirter<p>Jeanette Gregor, cofounder of Amplified Sound Coalition, also had to fend off counter-protesters as she gave an impassioned speech about the danger essential workers place themselves in by going to work and have yet to qualify for COVID-19 vaccine. </p>
Christa McWhirter<p>Around 2 p.m., State Troopers began to arrive at the Capitol amid heightening tensions from protesters and counter-protesters. As police presence began to increase, the event came to end about 15 minutes later. Despite the constant back and forth between sides and the arrival of law enforcement, the protest came to end peacefully.</p>
The world has changed drastically over the past year, and South by Southwest, one of Austin's most beloved institutions, has, too.
After being abruptly canceled by the city last year, one week before it was set to kick-off due to the increasing understanding of the potential impact of COVID-19, it returns this year in a virtual format March 16-20.
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Austin Public Health will release first dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments on a weekly basis starting Monday evening. The specific days and number of appointments made available will depend on the weekly allocation from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Previously, APH released first dose appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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