The Alabama native is joined by a hearty array of musicians for “All on My Mind,” including horns, backup singers, and even a four-piece string section. East, sweaty and disheveled, dips, dives, and weaves his way around the stage, clutching the mic stand with both hands as he digs deep into his vocal range for the song’s convention-breaking romantic proclamations.
No less steamy, if a little less theatrical, is “King for a Day,” which sees East ditch the strings but pick up his own acoustic guitar for a performance that’s more of a smolder than a quick burn.
East shares the bill for this week’s broadcast with Grammy-winning pop star Sam Smith, marking the first split episode of Austin City Limits‘ latest season, the 44th for the long-running PBS staple. Making his first appearance on the ACL stage, East’s set — recorded in June — draws almost entirely on material from his latest LP, Encore, which was produced by Dave Cobb and released in January. Smith, meanwhile, recently recorded a duet with Brandi Carlile, “Party of One.”
The episode airs October 20th at 8:00 p.m./CT on PBS.