boygenius at Crystal Ballroom in Portland | November 25th, 2018

Review by Camille Germain | Photos by Marissa Bowen




On November 25 the Crystal Ballroom was a completely silent room cut through with crisp vocals bouncing off of the tall ceilings. This tour with Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus is a hopeful reflection on modern indie music that hits you with honest and raw emotions. Each of these musicians has their own style, but when joining together, fluidly compliment one another. After releasing their first EP as boygenius, these three talented artists presented their own sets before coming onto stage together as band. This show was both a new beginning for a group of artists and a showcase of individual performance.


On November 25 the Crystal Ballroom was a completely silent room cut through with crisp vocals bouncing off of the tall ceilings. This tour with Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus is a hopeful reflection on modern indie music that hits you with honest and raw emotions. Each of these musicians has their own style, but when joining together, fluidly compliment one another. After releasing their first EP as boygenius, these three talented artists presented their own sets before coming onto stage together as band. This show was both a new beginning for a group of artists and a showcase of individual performance.



On November 25 the Crystal Ballroom was a completely silent room cut through with crisp vocals bouncing off of the tall ceilings. This tour with Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus is a hopeful reflection on modern indie music that hits you with honest and raw emotions. Each of these musicians has their own style, but when joining together, fluidly compliment one another. After releasing their first EP as boygenius, these three talented artists presented their own sets before coming onto stage together as band. This show was both a new beginning for a group of artists and a showcase of individual performance.



The third act, Julien Baker, was the main course for the night. Stripped back with no production lights at first, Baker started in with her and one violinist. The resonance of her voice enveloped the room, filling every pocket of it. The simple echoes of her voice and guitar kept the crowd frozen. Baker’s style is almost spiritual with how much she puts herself into it. She starts of with a gradual build then delivers a pivotal belt, both vocally and instrumentally. Her precise picking of her guitar was like an outward heartbeat that everyone could feel. She played a good variety of music from both of her albums, but the focus was on her latest album Turn Out the Lights. The style of her somber music leaves context almost open-ended so her audience can find their own meaning. She gives a voice to pain that many of us feel, but do not know how to express. What is magical about this ‘sad-girl music’ is that it is honest and relatable. She is intentional with every aspect of her music, and it shows. Though Julien Baker is well-known, she still remains modest and authentic. After a couple of her songs she said “You all could be doing anything with your night, but you are here. This is a fact not lost on me,” showing her gratitude for the room full of people.



The third act, Julien Baker, was the main course for the night. Stripped back with no production lights at first, Baker started in with her and one violinist. The resonance of her voice enveloped the room, filling every pocket of it. The simple echoes of her voice and guitar kept the crowd frozen. Baker’s style is almost spiritual with how much she puts herself into it. She starts of with a gradual build then delivers a pivotal belt, both vocally and instrumentally. Her precise picking of her guitar was like an outward heartbeat that everyone could feel. She played a good variety of music from both of her albums, but the focus was on her latest album Turn Out the Lights. The style of her somber music leaves context almost open-ended so her audience can find their own meaning. She gives a voice to pain that many of us feel, but do not know how to express. What is magical about this ‘sad-girl music’ is that it is honest and relatable. She is intentional with every aspect of her music, and it shows. Though Julien Baker is well-known, she still remains modest and authentic. After a couple of her songs she said “You all could be doing anything with your night, but you are here. This is a fact not lost on me,” showing her gratitude for the room full of people.




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