Singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus filled up Saturn on a Monday night as a part of her tour supporting her 2018 release Historian. The marvelous Historian showed up on countless year-end lists, and it’s easy to see why. Dacus’s poetic lyricism has received critical acclaim through its reflection of her upbringing in Richmond, Virginia alongside the standard tropes of relationships, growing old, and religion (or lack thereof). However, Dacus truly shines on record due to the catharsis that her songs can grant listeners; in “Night Shift” (arguably one of the greatest songs of 2018), after the song has chugged along through the demise of a relationship, Dacus sings:
“You got a 9 to 5, so I’ll take the night shift
And I’ll never see you again if I can help it”
In that moment, those lyrics feel like a release. Perhaps an emotional letting-go of various bullshit, or a conscious choice to move on from something harmful. Regardless, Dacus writes from the heart, allowing her words to impress upon listeners however they choose. Accompany that with her impressive, understated voice and Dacus is simply unstoppable.
The power of Historian was unlocked for me through this live performance. Coming onstage alone to play “Trust” (a request from a fan), her talented band soon followed to put us all in a swoon. Elegantly playing songs from Historian and her debut No Burden, Dacus frequently referenced how incredible it was to see a full venue actually “feeling something”, moving and swaying to the beautiful sound. In the loudest moments of the fairly tame set, you could see that Dacus and her band were feeling the same release that the audience was. The show became a beautiful communal experience, and at that, one that won’t be forgotten soon. Check out our coverage of Lucy’s set below:
Listen to Historian on Spotify here.