Lucy Dacus closes North American tour at sold-out DC show
Dacus played the last of three sold-out shows at the 9:30 Club on Oct. 29
The show felt distinctly unique due to Dacus’ relationship with D.C. As a native of Richmond, Virginia, she shared stories of coming to shows in the area from a young age and meeting boygenius groupmate Julien Baker at a D.C. show.
“It feels really special to be here,” Dacus said to the crowd. “It’s a special city to me.”
Before Dacus came on, folk singer Tomberlin started things off with a minimalistic set, aided only by her acoustic guitar and casual, joking demeanor. Although an artist with a more upbeat style might have provided more energy to open the show, Tomberlin’s voice was undeniably beautiful, making for some especially powerful vocal moments.
While Tomberlin gave off delightfully awkward, just-getting-back-to-in-person-shows charm, Dacus and her backing band were ripe with stage presence as they arrived onstage for the main show. Dressed in coordinating light-colored outfits, the musicians interacted beautifully throughout the show, from the times when all five were mixing their instruments in loud, euphoric symphony, to when Dacus’ guitarist accompanied her on a quiet, acoustic version of her song “Partner in Crime.”
Adding another layer of excitement to the night, Dacus revealed that her dad was in the audience, even pointing toward him during her song “Going Going Gone,” as she sang, “I always had to be home by eight / My dad would kill me if I was late,” prompting laughter from the audience.
Both that song and one unreleased song by Tomberlin saw the artists explicitly asking the audience to sing along. These moments of direct interaction between artist and audience were simply joys to behold and partake in. Especially after the hiatus from live music during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, even small moments like those served as reminders of what was lost in the time without live music, and what musicians and concertgoers have finally been able to experience once again.
The intimate feel of the show was clear throughout the night, from a fan passing a homemade embroidery hoop to Dacus onstage to Dacus ending the show with an unreleased song that she asked fans not to record. As Dacus played, trusting the audience to restrain themselves and just enjoy the moment, it was a wonderful way to end the night. Although the pre-encore ending song — the cinematic and explosive “Night Shift” — would have been a beyond satisfying finale in and of itself, the encore was just the cherry on top.
Dacus and her band gave a truly impressive performance through their musicianship and stage presence. The rapturous applause proved the show a success, transforming a rainy end of the week into an excitement-filled start to the weekend. Right then, it was clear that the D.C. music scene would welcome back Dacus and her band with open arms whenever they decided to return for a night of insatiable live music once again.