Lucy Dacus at The 3Olympia Theatre on Monday, April 25th 2022
Initially, when gigs first returned it was hard to know whether a show was really as good as it felt or whether the experience was heightened by the fact that you were just grateful to be out of the house and in the presence of friends and like-minded individuals once again.
Such thoughts were finally put to bed by Lucy Dacus’ goosebump-inducing performance in the 3Olympia Theatre. Dacus remarks on the opulence of the grand old venue, noting that when she walked in, she knew it was a night to wear “a gown and jewels”.
The boygenius star may have felt some extra pressure to put on a show. As she notes herself, the date had been upgraded three times and rescheduled (a word we now regard alongside ‘moist’) but there is no need for frills such is the level of devotion on display.
Dacus eases into the performance with Triple Dog Dare, the 7-minute closer from her most recent album, ‘Home Video’. A blistering First Time promptly follows, setting out Dacus’ Springsteen-esque storybook songwriting style perfectly. The expansive tales of unrequited love and sexual awakenings continue at a pace as Dacus plays ‘Home Video’ in its entirety in a 20-song set that provides plenty of its own revelations.
Thumbs Again is truly awe-inspiring live. The powerful mixture of love, sorrow, and transference are palpable throughout the venue as tears flow silently. It is this ability to tap into the most uncomfortable experiences and create something singularly beautiful that has helped turn Dacus into a lighthouse for a generation.
Night Shift, Kissing Lessons and I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore bring the house down as the night heads towards its conclusion, while Dancing in The Dark from her 2019 EP delivers the Breakfast Club air punch.
And then, something extraordinary happens. As the band leave the stage, Dacus decides to play a new song in the spur of the moment. After some tech issues, she plays it unplugged but before she does, she requests that nobody records the song as she doesn’t want people to hear it until it is recorded properly.
And they obliged; there wasn’t a phone to be seen as Dacus ran through the new number. The reaction to this request is testament to the respect of her fan base for her as an artist and as a person.