This review was written by guest author Brandon Smith.
It’s surprising there’s not much of a line outside The Empty Bottle for a show that’s been sold out for about a month: Adult Mom, And The Kids, and Lucy Dacus. They’re nearing the end of a 26-date tour following the release of Lucy Dacus’s second album Historian. Most of the early crowd is more focused on getting drinks than watching opening band perform.
Despite the chatter, Adult Mom open with the deep cut “Paws.” The three-piece from Purchase, New York has some help with Hannah Mohan from And The Kids filling in as a fourth member. The self-described “queer-indie-bittersweet-romantic-pop-music” is louder in person than most of their recorded material, especially songs like “Be Your Own 3AM” and “Steal The Lake From The Water.” Singer and guitarist Stephanie Knipe throws out some witty stage banter: “Does anyone hate their mom?” One lone soul in the crowd yells “I DO,” to which Knipe responds, “That was my New York sarcasm!” Adult Mom finishes their set with songs mostly from last year’s release Soft Spots.
By now the crowd has doubled in size, most anxious to see And The Kids, some eager to find the bar. And The Kids take the stage, starting a countdown with the crowd to get their bass player on stage: “We’re all going to yell Luke at the end of the countdown.” “Three, two, one, LUKE!,” the crowd screams – he slid through and got on stage. Another three-piece band based mostly out of North Hampton, Massachusetts, fills the room with more noise than the last band. Their math rock vibe is reminiscent of Maps and Atlases, but the more they play the harder it is to make a pin point comparison of such a fun band. Some of the crowd favorites from the tight-knit set include “Picture,” “I Dropped Out,” and “Strange To Be.”
Last but not least, Lucy Dacus is up next – band members and stagehands decorate the stage with hanging fluorescent lights, a nod to the Historians album artwork. Lucy starts the second single, “Addictions,” but the microphone screeches as she tries to sing the first line. She plays off the technical issues with some stage banter. “My mom’s here tonight!” The crowd goes crazy as they see her mother waving her arms at everyone. Before the issues are resolved Lucy jokes, “At least everyone will know the first line.” Dacus and the crowd simultaneously sing, “Freeze frame, tidal wave in the passenger side.” The harmonious singing continues – the whole room seems to know the song word for word. My heart can’t help but feel warm, full of all the emotions in the room…and she’s only played one song.
Lucy and her bandmates overpower the room with every track from her newest album. After the band finishes “Pillar of Truth,” Lucy talks about Art 180, an art nonprofit organization based out of her home state in Richmond, Virginia. It provides youth living in challenging circumstances with opportunities to express themselves. “We’re raising money at the merch table. Please donate if you can.” She then starts an older song, “Map on A Wall.”
Much of the set included a lot of watery eyes: some of joy, some of sadness. Lucy’s voice is even more soothing near the end of the night, closing with the trio of “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” “Night Shift,” and the encore of “Historians.” Lucy Dacus is one of the most intriguing singer-songwriters in music world. She’ll continue to showcase her talents and maybe make you shed a tear. The flawless efforts of Dacus and her bandmates reminded everyone at tonight’s show why they picked this one over any other concert in the city.