XPN Fest Recap: Lucy Dacus breaks through the simulation on the River Stage - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Lucy Dacus | photo by Ashley Gellman for WXPN

Lucy Dacus had a big day at Newport Folk Fest yesterday, and was coping not only with losing her voice, but with whatever the mental state is that comes from meeting Dolly Parton. But even though she was existing in what she called an “alternate thread of the simulation,” and didn’t feel like any of this was real, she kept the energy high throughout her River Stage set, winning over a crowd of old and new fans with her thoughtful indie rock.

After making sure everyone in the audience had put on their sunscreen, Dacus and her band — which featured Philly scene alums Dominic Angelella on bass and Ricardo Lagomasino on drums, along with guitarist Jacob Blizard — opened with “Addictions” from last year’s album Historian. Perhaps the first artist to ever cover Edith Piaf at XPNFest, she switched between French and English for “La Vie en Rose,” from her new holiday-themed series of singles that will be released as an EP at the end of the year. Trading in her guitar for a “cute little piano” (a Pocket Piano mini-synth) Dacus played a delicate rendition of her heartfelt new song “My Mother & I,” which she released this year near Mother’s Day.

Dacus switched to acoustic guitar for her newest song “Forever Half Mast,” and followed it with an older song, “I Don’t Wanna be Funny Anymore,” thanking XPN for being among the first stations to play it back in 2016. By the end of the set Dacus’ voice was starting to wear out, so she asked the audience to sing along to “Night Shift” if they could, and smiled when she saw that they knew the words.

Green Eyes, Red Face
La Vie en Rose
Yours & Mine
My Mother & I
Forever Half Mast
I Don’t Wanna be Funny Anymore
Night Shift

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