Author: Max Slade
Boygenius’ show at The Moore Theater last Saturday was one to remember. Going in, I was unsure what my expectations were: of the venue, of the lineup, and most of all, the performance. However, what I saw unfold made for one of the most heart-throbbing, beautiful shows I’ve ever gotten to see.
The show began with Lucy Dacus, an artist that, until Boygenius, I had admittedly not been familiar with. I knew a little about her lyrical style and the energy of her released music, however I was curious to see how it would translate live. If you weren’t aware, The Moore Theater is a venue consisting entirely of seating, and no general admission. For quieter acts like Julien Baker, this setup made sense, but it proved to be a challenged for Dacus. But, instead of dwelling on the minor setback that didn’t allow the crowd to dance, Lucy joked about it. In fact, almost immediately after slinging her guitar on, she looked up and said, “I didn’t realize this was a sitting venue, but I picked a set of rock songs.” The crowd all seemed to chuckle to themselves, partly because of her unfortunate circumstance, but also a little bummed that they couldn’t get up and dance with her. Nevertheless, Dacus delivered a powerful and energetic set with her and her band dancing alongside each other throughout. Perhaps my favorite moment from her set, however, was her tribute to her late grandmother, especially owed to her father’s presence in the audience that night. This gave the entire audience a sense of intimacy with Lucy Dacus’ personal life, and her vulnerability gave clear indication that she wanted to expose herself to her listeners, rather than just her music.
Following Lucy Dacus was Phoebe Bridgers, who surpassed my expectations by miles (and trust me, they were already high). Her live vocals were on par if not superior to those on her album, all while her band created a beautiful atmosphere in the background. Hearing her powerful yet simplistic lyrics in a live setting sent chills through me the entire duration of her set. She also surprised her audience with a duet with Noah Gundersen, as they released an extended version of her song “Killer + The Sound” earlier this year. Along with this, she covered “Everything is Free” by Gillian Welch and laughed through the whole song, with the audience joining her. Moments like these made her set that much more memorable: she felt comfortable laughing and making an occasional error, and the audience welcomed it with open arms.
The third performer was Julien Baker, who delivered the most emotional set of the night. She stood on the stage with only a guitar, a piano, and a violinist for accompaniment. Her set consisted of songs from both of her albums, and it was easy to see the emotion she poured into every single song. As her set progressed, the power of her voice instrumentation increased, slowly bringing out more tears in her audience members. After completing her set, Baker brought Bridgers and Dacus to form Boygenius. Their backing band consisted of members from both Dacus and Bridgers’ acts, tying the entire show together. They performed songs from their debut project, as well as an unforgettable Dixie Chicks cover for the first time. Hearing all three performers come together for their group’s set at the end made for the perfect end to their performance. The show as a whole was perfectly lined up, as it showcased all three artists’ abilities and then tied them up together.
And as a bonus: after the show I figured I would wait around to see if I could meet any of the performers, and Julien Baker walked by. I asked her for a picture and she willingly said yes! Getting to interact with an artist I’ve followed for such a long time made for the perfect finish to a show I’ll remember forever.
MAX SLADE | lol i look funny in the pic tho | KXSU Music Reporter