The sultry Lucy Dacus took the Broadberry stage on March 4 to kick off her tour and the release of her debut album, “No Burden.”
Hundreds of excited faces eagerly waited for Dacus to drop the first beat of her nine-track album. This attention is a long time coming for this born-and-raised Richmonder, who has been performing throughout the city for years.
Garnering praise from NPR, Pitchfork and other prominent publications, Dacus began her latest tour on March 7. Her band will be making stops everywhere from Toronto to Idaho, including a performance at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
At the start of this momentous night, Dacus stood front row in the crowd as her friends and opening band, Spooky Cool, played a 45-minute set. She went backstage as the band was followed by the big-noise band Rikki Shay. Both groups gave a big shout-out to Dacus for the invitation.
“It was a next level moment,” Dacus said. “I thought I had a concept of how many people would be there at the album release but when I got on the stage it was double what I thought.”
Many of the performers’ friends and family were there cheering Dacus on as she took the stage. At one point, someone shouted from the crowd that she had “made it.”
“People have said that at every next thing,” Dacus said. “We had made it to that point, we’re making it to another point and now we had made it our full-time job.”
Dacus chuckled and said she wouldn’t feel like she had “made it” until she had a bobblehead of herself. Still, she said she feels as though she and the band have made serious progress.
“I’m super happy with how everything is going,” Dacus said. “There’s a lot of stuff that we haven’t even announced yet that blows my mind.”
Dacus’ two-month tour is the longest of her career, as well as some of her bandmates, including bassist Tristan Fisher.
“It’s definitely a privilege to be here,” Fisher said. “I’m very aware of what a great opportunity this is and even back in high school, before Lucy was even really doing anything with her music, I never really thought she was going to take it to this level.”
Fisher, like many of the other members of the band, was familiar with Dacus before joining forces with her. Before his recruitment, Fisher was working extensively with Jack Mayock of Richmond band Manatree.
Fisher said that working with the singer-songwriter has been different than anything he’s done in the past.
“I feel like Lucy works very linearly with the words and the message coming before anything else,” Fisher said. “It’s the absolute paramount thing. Melodies, phrasing, rhythm and all that is secondary and obeys the whim of the message. It’s very interesting to me.”
Dacus already has plans to record a follow-up album, although there are no concrete release dates yet. Until then, she’ll be travelling coast-to-coast promoting “No Burden,” which received a 7.8 out of 10 review by Pitchfork’s Brad Nelson.
“Now that we actually have a plan of action that we can just drive and do, I think the nervousness part is over,” Dacus said. “I’m not really nervous at this point.”
Spectrum Editor, Austin Walker
Austin is a sophomore print journalism major. He started at the CT as a contributing writer, and frequently covers work done by artists and performers both on and off campus. He hopes to one day be a columnist writing about art that impacts culture, politics and documenting the lives of extraordinary and everyday people. // Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn