Liveshot: Steve Lacy delivers soulful, celestial soundscape with dynamic stage presence at Emo’s

Reya Mosby, Life&Arts Editor

A warm red glow coated the Emo’s stage as blue lasers darted through the audience. Taking center stage, Steve Lacy led the crowd in singing the beginning of his hit song “Dark Red” a cappella. As the chorus grew louder with each line, Lacy dropped out and let the crowd sing to him, encouraging them to get even louder. As the audience reached the chorus, Lacy’s guitar lines surged through the venue, electrifying the crowd as he began to sing. 

Marking the 17th show on his North American “Give You the World” tour for his sophomore album Gemini Rights, alternative R&B singer Lacy stopped at Emo’s on Thursday for his Austin visit. Lacy flourished in this performance with his magnetic stage presence and soulful, celestial soundscape. 

Often re-energized by his responsive audience, Lacy’s stage presence made a highlight of the show. Swaggering around stage and cheekily laughing into the microphone after making jokes and grooving to his music, the singer exuded an air of confidence that the audience couldn’t get enough of. 

The singer also commanded the stage with his charm, sauntering from one side to the other, prompting the crowd to sing parts of his songs to him and reveling in the audience’s adoration. The audience couldn’t help but love his confidence and charisma. However, despite his cool, laid-back exterior, Lacy frequently expressed gratitude to the audience on multiple occasions, building a sentimental connection with the audience in the smaller, more intimate venue. 

On songs such as “Give You the World” the singer delivered a stunning performance showcasing a luscious tenor on top of jazz-infused instrumentals — tones that remained present throughout the entire set. Sonically, he effortlessly shifted through his vocal registers, from soulful falsetto to powerful belts, all on top of funky bass lines, breathy harmonies and jazzy keyboard melodies. However, guitar- and drum-heavy songs like “Lay Me Down” provided contrast to the otherwise mellow set. 

The show ended with Lacy’s encore song “Dark Red,” that audiences instantly sang out upon hearing the opening line. However, once again showcasing his charm and humor, Lacy proceeded to only sing fragments of the song and stop with a chuckle after hearing the frustration of the audience. When the whole song finally rang out through Emo’s, the audience belted out the track in its entirety alongside Lacy, making for a perfect end to the dynamic performance.