Photos by Neil Van
Phoebe Bridgers performed a short set showcasing last year’s Strangers in the Alps, charming the audience with the witty stage banter of her band. It was a warm, receptive crowd who are all happy to be here and be a part of set.
Julien Baker opened her 40 minute set with beautiful renditions of Sprained Ankle and Rejoice, you can really hear her Memphis Bible Belt upbringing. This is echoed further in Baker’s second album; with the use of a church organ and songs like Televangelist. Thsi was a set with a healthy mix of tracks from both of Baker’s albums; Sprained Ankle and Turn Out the Lights. Both of them reflect pain; the trials of heartbreak, self destruction and self worth. It’s beautiful, and the crowd let her know it: her plaintive crescendo in Sour Breath elicits a huge cheer from the crowd. There’s some soft joking where Baker asks if everyone’s having a good time and offers a comments box for feedback. And she’s psyched to share the stage with her band mates in the next set from Boygenius, whom she describes as her best friends.
The turnaround between the three acts has been quick and the final set of the night brings Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and band back to the stage as Boygenius for a tight 25 minute finale. They play six songs, with a slight guitar mishap bringing out Bridgers’ wit as she suggests a memory book including “Baby’s First Failure” as the techs tape up the ailing guitar. After the signature quiet set Baker delivered, the sound of the whole band on stage is a pleasant shock to the ears. The Danforth crowd quietens to the level of a pin drop as Boygenius wrap the set with just the three of them, no mics, and a single guitar for Ketchum, ID. The crowd beautifully joined in the chorus. All three held their hand to their mouths, speechless and electrified by the response.
Tonight was an alchemy of the right venue, a warm crowd, and a new collaboration that’s starting to make waves with critics. It felt so special to be there and witness these stars on the rise.