OWTK Not Kids Music / Philly

Last Week’s Lucy Dacus Concert

Lucy Dacus Concert Philly March 2019
Lucy Dacus in Concert in Philly March 21, 2019

“Night Shift” is a slow burn; it’s a wick set alight; it begins as a gentle midnight stroll before reaching the boiling point of a cobblestoned city. There is some distance needing to be traveled before the heat can be felt on our faces, before sweat forms in the palms of our clenched hands, before we simmer, before we vow to never see each other again (if we can help it).

When the song was played at last week’s Lucy Dacus concert in Philly, the crowd of ~1000 began to sing along with every word. This communion is why we drive, park blocks away, walk in the rain, pay the fees, get patted down, and stand for hours. It’s the giddy anticipation of sharing in something urgent and real that no amount of shaky vertical video can replicate; it’s why we do not age, and why we will do it all again and again and again until we are physically no longer able.

When the chorus of

“You got a nine to five, so I’ll take the night shift
And I’ll never see you again if I can help it”

came around the bend during its first victorious lap, the very moment when the band is arranged & moved to the back of our senses, the room’s choral volume became undeniable. Our voices lifted the clouds and stopped the rain. For a few beats, we halted the death march of time.

Lucy smiled an earnest, honest smile. Her jet black hair swung side to side as she shook her head in disbelief that this many people, in one room, looking up at her, were singing her words with everything they had. “Night Shift” has its own backstory but a thousand people were inserting their personal narratives into each phrase, each deep emotional plunge and each glorious assent.

As steam from the final chord escaped the Union Transfer speakers, the gracious singer let go of her guitar and with her right hand touched upon her heart while standing statue still, and still smiling, several feet back from the lip of the stage. We saw her. We heard her. We roared in delight. She saw us. She heard us. She appreciated us being there together with her.

And everything terrible was melted down and slinked through the tarnished metal grates of a sewer along with rivers of rain water.

Everything, for a moment, was okay.

Like this concert story? You may also enjoy this dispatch from a recent Wolf Parade show at the same venue:

The Young Man I Met Last Night

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