On Friday, October 21st, Marathon Music Works was graced with a sexy and enchanting performance by Billboard-charting and Grammy-nominated R&B artist, Steve Lacy, accompanied by the vibrant rage of Fousheé. Lacy’s indie-funk fusion, in conjunction with his undeniable stage presence, had the audience mesmerized in adoration, euphoria, and even arousal.
I arrived at the venue promptly 45 minutes after doors with the assumption I’d have enough time to quickly get through security and situate myself in a comfortable position to view Fousheé. I had never underestimated anything more in my entire life. With just 15 minutes left until the opening act, the line for security stretched over almost two blocks, brimming with college students, high schoolers, and mostly what I thought had to be junior high kids with their parental chaperones.
Opener Fousheé took the stage shortly after 8pm and played for about 30 minutes. After giving shout-outs to each member of her band, the artist closed with a metal rendition of her song “Candy Grapes.” A bonafide rock star, Foushée completely controlled the room with her seemingly effortless whistle tones and fierce but darling energy. Met by a powerful round of cheers, she set the tone for the rest of the night.
After what seemed like eternity between sets for the eager crowd, the lights finally dimmed for Steve, and the crowd greeted him with the most fervent cacophony of applause, cheers, and “I love you’s.” He emerged from a rippling cloud of artificial fog and strobe lights, making sure to salute both sides of the audience before launching into “Buttons.” With the hypnotic, soulful timbre of his voice and grinding guitar filling the venue, Steve was in his element–shining like star stuff and brilliant as the moon.
Before arriving at the show, I was curious to see what type of audience the concert would draw. Ever since the hook for Lacy’s song “Bad Habit” blew up on social media, I couldn’t help but feel a smidgen of unease that the venue would be occupied by a throng of unknowing Tik Tok fans. However, those qualms were quickly put to rest as the Nashville crowd showed the utmost love to the artist.The audience welcomed Steve with open arms, screaming and yelling each and every song word-by-word at the top of their lungs. Respectfully declining people’s BeReals, warmly accepting flowers and gifts, and even partaking in some light-hearted banter with particular audience members, the chemistry between Steve and the crowd was unparalleled.
Though a large portion of his set showcased his latest album “Gemini Rights,” he also made sure to perform some fan favorite singles from “Apollo XXI,” such as “N Side,” “Only If,” “Playground,” and “Lay Me Down.” The standout performance, however, came from neither “Gemini Rights” nor “Apollo XXI,” but rather from his sophomore album, “The Lo-Fis,” specifically the somber yet luring, “Infrunami.” After crooning the first chorus, the singer spun the mic to the crowd and allowed them to sing it on their own. Without hesitation, the audience belted every lyric, to which Steve gratefully responded, “beautiful.”
After the last song–and the subsequent five minutes of “one more song!” chants–Steve returned to the stage to end the night with longtime favorites “C U Girl” and “Dark Red.” Enchanting, groovy, and sensual, Lacy’s dreamy mystique had the entire crowd entranced in a dream-like state for the entire duration of the show.
Listen along here: