by Matthew Harrison
Like the namesake of his Apollo tour, Steve Lacy emerged onto the stage as a fiery ball of energy as he sang and danced around to the first track off his album, “Only If.” His transition into the vulnerable exploration of his sexuality on “Like Me” felt easy and well-rehearsed, and as he bounced around from guitar to bass to synthesizer, Lacy’s high-level musicianship shone through. As the concert continued, Steve bantered easily with the audience, joking and smiling during water breaks and pausing to ask, “you guys ever just cry?” before continuing the show.
Lacy backed his electric stage presence up with strong renditions of every song on his debut album Apollo XXI, plus a few extras. His music hovers somewhere between neo-soul and indie rock, but the diversity of sounds that came from the speakers challenged listeners to classify his music under any genre at all. Funky bass riffs and glittery guitar chords decorated his heartfelt vocals and sequenced drums. A two-minute long synth solo teased the audience and won them over shortly before Lacy transitioned into the last song on his album, “Outro Freestyle / 4ever”—more of a Hip Hop track than anything else— with Lacy hopping up and down on the stage and ad-libbing into the mic.
Lacy garnered fame as a guitarist/producer for the Grammy-nominated band The Internet, and as with any band-member-gone-solo, the question had to be asked: Could he hack it without the safety of his group? Lacy’s electrifying performance at House of Blues this past Thursday confirmed that he has both the musical capability and the stage presence to rock any venue by himself (and a DJ, of course).
If you see him coming to town, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket. Lacy’s soulful singing and energetic presence won’t disappoint.