Rockin’ at ACL: Freshman performs with band on stage


Bailey Niles

Freshman Kate Carvajal performed on the Kiddie Limit’s Stage at ACL through her music school, School of Rock. She sung with her teammates and recieved artist privileges.

Aisha Rashid, Editor

The crowd’s chants merge with the melody of freshman Kate Carvajal’s voice. Adrenaline rushes through her body, creating an indescribable feeling. It’s almost like a fever dream. As a mega music fan, Carvajal isn’t new to Austin City Limits (ACL) euphoric atmosphere. As a debut performer, she reveals her own talent. 

 A singer and part time drummer, Carvajal and her band members performed at the Kiddie Limits stage of ACL’s festival on Friday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 16 through a School of Rock program.

“I’ve been [to ACL] before just being a watcher,” Carvajal said. “And, I am so happy to have the experience of actually playing at the Kiddie Limits stage.”

In 2019, Carvajal began attending classes at School of Rock, a multi-national music education program located on West Anderson Lane. The school provides aspiring musicians with the opportunity to develop their confidence and skills as a performer through lessons and themed shows.

“It is a school where you can do lessons with the guitar, piano, drums [and] vocals,” Carvajal said. “The possibilities are endless.”

School of Rock divides students into three groups- All Stars, B Team and C Team. This year, Carvajal auditioned and got into B Team, which provided members an opportunity to play a 30 minute set at ACL.

“B Teamers were not allowed to do ACL in the COVID days because it was closed down,” Carvajal said. “But finally, we got to go back and do it again and it was super fun.”

B Team consists of three drummers, four vocalists, four guitarists and three bassists. Fellow team members include students from neighboring districts, like Westwood and Anderson High School.

“We have rehearsals every Wednesday at the school and we just run the songs [and] have maps, which are basically like verse [and] chorus,” Carvajal said. “We pretty much try and perfect them as best as we can. ”

While on stage, around seven members perform classic rock or a few pop songs and proceed to switch out with the remaining B Team members.. Carvajal and her band performed a set of five songs, notably Love The One You’re With by the Isley Brothers. 

“It has a lot of technique,” Carvajal said. “There’s a high note that, hopefully, I reached.”

 The band received backstage passes which included privileges like fancy food, beverages and the opportunity to enter the artist lounge and meet some of their idols.

“I got really close to Conan Gray and actually got the chance to be backstage for Paramore,” Carvajal said. “I stood five feet away from Noah Cyrus. It was crazy.”

Carvajal has had extensive experience performing at gigs such as Laguna Gloria and has an upcoming gig at Güero’s Taco Bar on Dec. 18 for a Toys for Tots fundraiser. Carvajal aims to grow beyond the horizons of School of Rock and plans to start her own band.

“Starting with covers or maybe making our own songs would be really cool,” Carvajal said. “I would probably start [a band] with my friends that are in B Team.”