Female indie-rock powerhouses stole the hearts of many in Madison on Nov. 16th. Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julien Baker, better known as Boygenius, may just be the group collaboration of the century in terms of current indie talent.
Lucy Dacus started the show off with a bang when she came out rocking bright red lipstick, carrying a jet-black electric guitar. She initiated a light, comedic conversation with the crowd and used that to move into the first half of her set. Dacus shifted gears midway through her solo set when she sang the first few notes of “Night Shift.” Her vocals, though unbelievably pure, also showed a slightly aggressive side to her musical style overall. The audience picked up on her vibe early in the night as she set a perfect tone for her fellow female friends to take the stage.
A quiet and poised Phoebe Bridgers, accompanied by her large band, put together a flawless set ranging from simple twang sounds to melodramatic beats. Bridgers played many favorites from her album, Stranger in the Alps, that came out last year. Bridgers does not hold back in any aspect of her music, transitioning from topics of heartbreak to domestic violence in her performance; something that very few artists can illustrate well. She had vocal assistance from her drummer Marshall More when performing their rendition of Gillian Welch’s “Everything is Free” to close her part of the show.
Last, but certainly not least, Julien Baker transitioned from effortlessly shredding on her electric guitar to playing light, melodic chords on the piano. Throughout her entire set, she filled the grand room with her commanding vocals that made many jaws drop across the venue. She ended her set with “Appointments”, the very first song to be released from her sophomore album, with a humongous smile.
The women came together at the end of their thrilling solo sets and played some fan favorites from their six-song self-titled EP. This work is full of unprecedented harmonies that were a blessing to hear in person. Even though each of these talented ladies has a discography that is quite emotionally heavy, they sure knew how to bring the energy and create a magical sound when they were on stage together as a whole.
The comradery that these women shared and respect they had for each other was quite apparent as the night progressed. There was nothing more priceless than the infectious grins from the trio after they finished the final chord of “Ketchum, ID.” These legendary moments will keep adding up as they continue to elicit tears and sadness from the hearts of audiences across the country.