It seems like I missed the dress code for Lucy Dacus’ sold out Free at Noon show. I showed up way underdressed; no Doc Martens or tote bag to be seen on me. But thankfully I was not escorted out of the packed World Cafe Live main stage and still got blessed by the wonderful show Dacus and her band put on. This Free at Noon performance kicked off Dacus’s summer tour across the U.S. and Canada tour, which has her returning to Philadelphia on July 28 at the Mann Skyline Stage with Courtney Barnett and Samia.
The show Dacus put on this afternoon was phenomenal; it seemed to work almost as a dress rehearsal for the next two months on the road. The stage was filled with an impressive light show that could have been overbearing, or unnecessary stage clutter, but struck a nice balance; each time the lights changed or flashed it felt very natural, and necessary. The set as a whole was tight and almost felt like a full theatrical script was written and performed for the audience. The ambient sounds that guitarist Jacob Blizard and synth player Sarah Goldstone added between songs really helped to make the show feel like one unified performance.
Right from the start with “Triple Dog Dare,” Dacus blew any expectations out of the water. Firstly, the song on its own is a beautiful look back on the past with the blessing of the knowledge you have now, and the complications with coming to terms with your sexuality. The harmonies and backing vocals during this song by Goldstone, Bilzard, and bassist Dom Angelella were solid — something which carried across the set; their voices seemed to just melt into one beautiful whole.
You could feel the crowd’s excitement regardless of their fairly stagnant movement. But that does bring up the question, can you mosh at a Lucy Dacus concert? A song like “First Time” definitely has a fervent energy care of drummer Ricardo Lagomasino, but does a song “VBS” make such behavior distasteful? (Folks could be spotted headbanging at stage left to the lyrics about playing Slayer at full volume.) Whatever the case, the vibes were great, and even with everyone wearing a mask you could tell people were singing and smiling the whole time, myself included.
Switching between guitars and opting to stand without one Dacus gave a set mostly from her 2021 album Home Video and threw in her very popular “Night Shift” and newest single “Kissing Lessons” as a treat as well. Getting out to see Dacus is a must and with her playing in Philadelphia with a wonderful Courtney Barnett on July 28th (and again in Harrisburg with Barnett and the up-and-coming artist Faye Webster on August 12) there are ample opportunities to experience her. See the XPN Concert Calendar for more details.
Lucy Dacus Free at Noon 07.08.2022