Renowned for the 1997 hit single “Barbie Girl,” Aqua headlined their first U.S. tour, which longtime fans have been dreaming of for years! On November 24, they stopped in Austin, Texas, for a showstopping performance at Emo’s Austin. The fanbase was a mix of people decked out in Barbie Movie merchandise, while others have been devoted fans for decades! Nonetheless, it was an amazing night that brought everyone together!
To start off the night, Austinite Cynthia Lee Fontaine graced the venue with her presence, accompanied by her backup dancers. She originally competed in seasons eight and nine for the hit television show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, winning the title of Miss Congeniality during the eighth season. She was excited to be back in her hometown though, as she exclaimed, “Austin always delivers the best crowds!”
Even though her setlist was short, she delivered quite the performance and included a powerful cover of Selena’s Como La Flor, which the audience belted along to. As the opening act, she complimented Aqua perfectly getting the crowd excited with songs such as Tú y Yo that fans could dance to getting ready for the main act of the night. She closed out her performance by telling the audience she loved them.
The atmosphere at Emo’s Austin was already pulsating with a loud and vibrant energy, but it skyrocketed even more when Aqua appeared on stage. René Dif, Lene Nystrøm, and Søren Rasted all enthusiastically expressed how excited they were to be touring in the United States for the first time. René even said that it took him two days to learn how to ask, “How y’all doin'?’” to the crowd! Between songs, the band took the time to interact with the crowd, even giving a child in the front row a fist bump.
There was not one moment of silence during the duration of Aqua’s performance. A part of their setlist included Back to the 80’s, Doctor Jones, and Barbie Girl as part of their setlist. Fans spent the time discovering new songs, dancing, and screaming out the lyrics, which compensated for fans who only knew Barbie Girl. They took a moment to express gratitude for the success of their hit classic and acknowledged how it has led them to opportunities such as being able to tour worldwide for the first time in their history of being a band for over 25 years and even a Grammy nomination for the song Barbie World, with Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj.
However, for many, this was more than just a concert. Everyone, musicians and audiences alike, felt a shared connection and excitement from being together. Aqua truly gave it their all during their performance and you could see the enthusiasm and passion beam off of René’s and Lene’s faces as they swayed around the stage. After the concert, Cynthia Lee Fontaine and René gathered outside of the venue to meet fans, creating a core memory for them to leave the night with.