Author: Nathan Haimowitz
Boygenius, in their show just before Thanksgiving break, illuminated a packed Sylvee. Their four hour extended set left few dry eyes among a largely student-filled crowd.
boygenius photo by Morgan Winston
The artists who comprise the supergroup, Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker, were friendly and interactive with the crowd, unstoppable as a trio, and exuded confidence in their own sets. Each artist took their turn with a shortened set before the three joined forces to play the entirety of their critically lauded self-titled EP.
Dacus took to the stage first and immediately engaged with the crowd, making light of how the atmosphere lent itself to something of a ‘first date,’ environment between her and the audience. Dacus rewarded early concertgoers with a terrific set, her voice deep and captivating as she sang much of her heartbreaking discography, before making way for Phoebe Bridgers.
Phoebe Bridgers photo by Morgan Winston
Bridgers’ set posed a unique complement to Dacus, her voice softer and equally entrancing. Bridgers too was happy to communicate with the audience, telling jokes as she tuned her guitar. The decision to play much of her most recent album, Stranger in the Alps was met enthusiastically and the somber energy each artist would foster was only enhanced by Bridgers’ indomitable range.
Julien Baker, a phenom in recent years in indie rock, erupted onto the stage third. Unlike her predecessors that evening, she was accompanied only by a single violinist and not a full band. Switching remarkably from grand piano to bass to acoustic guitar and back, Baker impressed most when given the opportunity to showcase her unmatched range as an artist. Her ability to cover each note demanded of her carried a triumphant finish to the otherwise heavy songs featured largely on “Turn Out the Lights”.
Julien Baker photo by Morgan Winston
Three masterful sets paved the way for the group to come together as boygenius. Each artist felt palpably comfortable among her peers as shown by the glowing smiles of adoration projected during the individual vocals during songs like “Bite the Hand” and “Me & My Dog” by Dacus and Bridgers especially. The group ascended when performing “Stay Down.” Baker’s voice hit notes so powerful that even her fellow band members couldn’t help but bow down to the vocalist on each side of her.
Most remarkably, the band chose to perform their final song off the EP and of the night, “Ketchum, ID” without microphones or instruments. The audience in reverent silence watched the trio harmonize symphonically, conveying the depths of the song’s emotion.
While snow began falling outside the Sylvee that Friday night, boygenius did everything in their power to keep their captivated fans warm and ever amazed.
Check out our full gallery of photos from Morgan Winston here!