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Honest and sincere, Lucy Dacus' Melbourne show was a mark of unrivalled strength and intellect

Celebrated boygenius member Lucy Dacus gave us a night filled with melancholy, sincerity and distortion.

The first cold night of the season was matched only by warm atmosphere as fans flooded into the iconic Northcote Social Club. A generous amount of patrons filled the room to take in the opening sounds of Poppongene, a five-piece of swirly dream bedroom pop, the lead singer gliding over the chorus-laden guitar with pleasantly breathy vocals.

Onto the main support of the night, Jess Ribeiro. A somewhat cinematic experience, Ribeiro sets a soundscape and invites us into her corner of the world – affably and humorously addressing the crowd before taking us on waltz through her ambient set, she tiptoes and whispers with the occasional dry humorous quip to set the crowd at ease.

Five minutes before scheduled show time to a crowd that resembles a sardine can, Lucy Dacus and her backing band arrive on stage and eagerly struck up with the brilliant ‘Addictions’. Singing along to Dacus’ confident lines, “You've got addictions too, it’s true”, making it feel like we all know what it’s like to have romantic dependency for someone else, the crowd becomes a bubble of energy hanging of every Dacus word.

Letting us know that this is her first time touring Down Under, she's moved by her sold-out reception and as she works her way through her second album History her storytelling feels unrehearsed, in spite of the harmonious brilliance of her band. The four-piece are definitely not afraid to sink their teeth into the distortion of the haunting alt-rock arrangements.  

 
 
 
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Halfway through the set, Dacus’ lyrical style of songwriting and vocal delivery was practically dripping onto the front row punters. The authenticity of ‘Nonbeliever’ and words, “Everybody else looks like they've figured it out”, resonated strongly with the crowd and as Dacus proposes her next song, a cover, to her adoring audience, she comes through with French ballad 'La Vie En Rose'. Singing in both French and English vocals and putting on a striking spin of Edith Piaf’s signature song, Dacus turns the swooning classic into a thunderous rock cut. The arrangement of throbbing drums and guitars ebb and swell from around her.

Dacus ventures on by going back to her first released song ‘I Don't Wanna Be Funny Anymore'. It remains blunt and true and quite remarkably so considering she has probably played it at every single gig since she wrote it. Smirking as she sings, “I’ll play guitar and I’ll be the artist”, Dacus gives the audience a familiar conversational feel to her set.

Historian's album topper 'Night Shift' is a definitive highlight of the set. Everyone packed into the Northcote Social Club's bandroom are now fully immersed in Dacus' set and join in as she sings, “You’ve got a nine to five so I’ll take the night shift”.

As the set's formalities come to a close, the crowd yearn for an encore which Dacus delivers, ending her set with an unreleased song. Prefacing the song with, “I want you to know I don’t condone violence”, she roars through four-minutes of forthright sincerity, declaring “I would kill you” over and over again which stands to encapsulate the set that came before – a night filled with honesty and candidness.

Highlight: Her unreleased encore song was met with pin-drop silence.

Lowlight: Mutton chops heckling.

Crowd favourite: ‘Night Shift’.