Steve Lacy Takes Fans on a Dreamy “Ryd” at House of Blues
October 8, 2019, 2019 | By Olivia Oriaku
Alternative R&B artist Steve Lacy mesmerized fans at House of Blues on Oct. 3, with groovy basslines and dreamy, harmonized chords. The young creator, who is a member of the Grammy-nominated band The Internet, and who has produced alongside Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, and Vampire Weekend, among others, is currently on tour for his debut solo album Apollo XXI. The album is a mix of R&B, hip-hop, and low-fi pop, showcasing Lacy’s laid back voice, which blends in perfectly with the record’s rhythmic basslines and mellow synth sounds.
Photo Courtesy of Alan Lear
Audience members shouted Lacy’s name as the stage’s lights went black, eagerly awaiting what would be the opening beat of Only If, a song off of Apollo XXI. Lacy’s soft vocals soared through the venue, and the crowd became flooded with pinks and blues as the stage lights overhead moved along with the song’s slow tempo. Next was Like Me, another song off of Lacy’s new album. After the track ended, Lacy turned to his audience and asked them to “act like they’re three,” clearly encouraging them to lose themselves in the music and live in the moment.
In between tracks, Lacy frequently switched guitars — at one point exchanging his dark, maroon guitar for a sparkly pink one. People danced along to the steady, jazzy guitar riffs on Basement Jack, Guide, and Playground, all tracks off of his new album. After a lengthy guitar solo, in which Lacy demonstrated impeccable instrumentalism, he transitioned into Hate CD, another song off of Apollo XXI. Fans raised their arms above their heads and swayed back and forth to the song’s beat in perfect synchronization, undoubtedly feeling a connection to Lacy and his music.
Lacy experimented with exotic sounds on his synth machine during the performance, playing around with extremely high frequencies. The cosmic sounds, coupled with the stage’s dark backdrop and the spotlight, which illuminated Lacy, made it seem as if Lacy was on a spaceship, temporarily transporting audiences into another dimension. But the crowd slowly snapped out of their momentary trance as soon as the first chords of In Lust We Trust were heard. After another long and captivating guitar solo, which ended the song, Lacy left the stage, telling fans that he would “be right back.” As soon as he made his exit, the beautiful violin notes from Amandla’s Interlude began to bounce off of the venue’s walls. Before the audience’s eyes was a spellbinding light show.
Running back on stage — now wearing a headband, a grey blazer, and a bright yellow shirt — Lacy re-energized audience members with a fan favorite, N Side. Following this, he played Outro Freestyle/4ever, a track off of his new album, right before turning to the crowd to ask them which song he should play next. At once, fans began to passionately shout out different song names as Lacy attempted to call on them so he could hear their individual suggestions. To the audience’s approval, the popular Ryd was the winner, a track off of Lacy’s first EP titled Steve Lacy’s Demo. Next, he effortlessly transitioned into Dark Red, followed by Looks, both songs off his EP. Fans sang each word along with him and expressed their love for his older tracks.
Toward the end of his set, Lacy thanked audience members for coming to his show and told them to “make some noise for themselves.” He ended with an acoustic performance of thats no fun, an older song that can only be found on his SoundCloud, followed by the The Internet’s well-known track, which Lacy produced, titled Palace/Curse.
The opener, Kari Rose Johnson, a rising rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer, better known by her stage name Kari Faux, pumped up the crowd with a captivating DJ set. She mixed a variety of songs, including Baby Bash’s Suga Suga and M.I.A.’s Paper Planes. Faux jumped up and down with the crowd during heavy beat drops, and even stepped out of her DJ booth to dance and twerk in front of audience members, hyping them up for the exciting headlining show to follow.