Alternative R&B singer, songwriter and producer Steve Lacy brought the feels to Radius Chicago Wednesday night in the third stop of his second headline tour.
“Welcome to the ‘Give You The World’ tour,” he said to the crowd packed into the warehouse-esque venue in Chicago’s East Pilsen neighborhood. “Let’s get this sh-t.”
The 24-year-old guitarist opened his show with “Buttons,” the fourth track from his second full-length album, “Gemini Rights.” He then launched directly into the album’s lead single, “Mercury,” during which he played acoustic guitar as concertgoers grooved with their friends, families and partners.
Lacy wrote “Gemini Rights” after breaking up with his boyfriend. The lyrics touch on his feelings of anger, sadness, longing and confusion, but his words are “all out of love and all laughable, too,” he said to AppleMusic.
“’Gemini Rights’ is me getting closer to what makes me a part of all things, and that is: feelings,” Lacy said in the statement. “Feelings seem like the only real things sometimes.”
Still, Wednesday’s set paid respect to the full scope of Lacy’s career, as he played nine songs from past projects.
“I just dropped an album a couple months ago called ‘Gemini Rights.’ I’m gonna play some shit from that,” Lacy told the audience at the beginning of Wednesday’s show. “But y’all know that ain’t my first piece of work right? I dropped some sh-t a couple years ago called ‘Apollo XXI.’ Let’s drop some of that.”
During his rendition of “Only If” from “Apollo XXI,” Lacy smoothly sang, “If I could travel through time, I think I / Would tell myself from the past, ‘You’ll be fine,” — before moving into a rhythmic performance of his funk hit “Playground.”
Delving back into songs from “Gemini Rights,” Lacy sharply delivered the bitter lyrics from “Static,” the album’s opening track, with just a quiet piano instrumentation in the background.
“Hope you find peace for yourself / New boyfriend ain’t gon’ fill the void,” Lacy started, before stopping to reflect aloud he was “pissed off that day” and restarting the song.
Next, the artist played two songs from “Steve Lacy’s Demo,” a 13-minute project he released in 2017, along with one song from his 2020 project “The Lo-Fis.” On “Infrunami,” Lacy begs his ex to come back into his life, but “Ryd” finds the singer and a girl going for a drive.
Throughout the show, Lacy added subtle interjections, engaging the audience and making for a positive concert experience. Before playing “Infrunami,” Lacy encouraged the crowd to smile and lighten up.
“Show some teeth! Goddamn we’re silly,” he said. “Stay silly your whole life.”
And after playing the track, he offered his fans a compliment.
“Damn you guys are amazing,” Lacy said. “You make me feel like I’m amazing. Let’s just trade amazingness.”
One of the set’s most memorable moments came during Lacy’s performance of “Sunshine,” which he began solo. Show opener Fousheé then suddenly skipped back onto the stage and joined her close friend for a soulful rendition of one of the two artists’ many collaborations.
When Lacy began the tour last week, he had just hit another major career milestone: his track “Bad Habit” became his first single to cinch the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of Oct. 2. That’s his first number one single.
“I really got the number-one song in the country right now. Make some f—ing noise,” Lacy said before playing “Bad Habit.” “It’s really cool that I get to celebrate it here with you guys. I’m gonna need some number-one energy.”
Lacy directed his encore toward his longtime fans. He stepped away from the heartbreak-ridden “Gemini Rights” to close the show with two tracks about falling in love: 2015’s “CU Girl” and 2017’s “Dark Red.”
Through the middle of November, he’ll make 24 more stops across North America, spreading his feelings of anger, longing and desire to audiences at each show.
Steve Lacy performed at Radius Chicago Wednesday.
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