Re:SET Boston Day One: Steve Lacy, James Blake, Toro Y Moi, Foushée

Re:SET Boston Day One: Steve Lacy, James Blake, Toro Y Moi, Foushée

Re:SET hit Boston for the third weekend of the month long concert series that started out on the West Coast in San Diego, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Friday, June16th 2023 was the debut of The Stage at Suffolk Downs and opening day for Re:SET in Boston. Fans lined up early along the fence outside the venue waiting to get their front row spots for a night of music culminating with Jame Blake and Steve Lacy. Highlights of the evening, aside from the headliners themselves, was when Steve Lacy popped into the pit while Foushée was performing supporting fellow artist and thrilling fans with a little pre-show interaction. James Blake lulled audiences with his soft melodies only interrupted occasionally by a plane flying overhead from nearby Logan airport. Toro Y Moi kept the night rolling with his Chillwave sound and equally chill presence and warm energy.

Steve Lacy closing out night one of Re:SET in Boston at The Stage at Suffolk Downs
Photo: L. Klein

Who’s Who of Re:SET Day One

Feeling the love and absorbing the cool style in look and sound of Steve Lacy at Re:SET Boston Photo: L Klein

Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy took the audience on a journey from the moment he stepped onto the stage. Lacy’s style hits the stage before his sound. While every artist has a look, some seem to come from within and others wear what they’re given to put on. Lacy’s style seems to come from within. It sets the tone right away for what you are about to witness and be a participant in. There’s a look all his own that makes you want to step up your game too. Lacy’s look is unpretentiously chic and covered yet sexy until the jacket came off and then you got to see right into Lacy’s “soul”. As for the music, Steve Lacy’s songs talk so much about identity in relation to oneself and others. From Helmet (stuck in an unhealthy relationship) to Buttons (complex love) Lacy tells personal stories without focusing on the individual details, but rather getting into the nitty gritty of it all. There is such a focus on identity and self worth in Gemini Rights that is refreshing. Lacy’s songs point to themes that so many can relate to especially when it comes to love and relationships. Rather than leaving them on the table as things we can all relate to, Lacy takes it to the next level analyzing the situation and asking for more, owning up to more, or questioning the status quo. The sound Lacy brings ranges from a soulful falsetto to a slightly raspy pop sound. The songs have a patina of their own that don’t come off overly polished which make them stick to your lungs a little more as you breathe it in. The music stays with you as you ponder the food for thought that Steve Lacy just laid down.

James Blake’s hands caressing the keys as his soft chanteur voice draws the audience a little closer. Photo: L Klein

James Blake

James Blake is a modern twist on the chanteur at the piano. Blake has got his hands on the keys and his voice is as smooth as anything, but the tunes are thoroughly modern with elements of dubstep’s electronic sounds and beats. Blake’s music often has a dreamy layer of sound or hypnotic thread that plays under a voice that ranges from almost spoken word to soft ballads. James Blake definitely had the audience sitting in the palm of his hand as he serenaded fans sitting out in the warm summer air as the sun began to set. The Stage at Suffolk Downs in early June was the perfect setting to soak in the sound. The softness of James Blake’s songs did leave room for the occasional roar of an airplane to disrupt the tune, but nothing broke the connection between Blake and his audience. The pleading and gentleness in Blake’s voice holds you by the throat with its tenderness in sound and depth of feeling.

The warmth in Chaz Bear’s look in person is even more enrapturing as the words from Toro Y Moi songs drop not so little truths we can all relate to Photo: L Klein

Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi took to the stage mid-afternoon bringing Chaz Bear’s relaxed warmth to the stage. The eclectic layered sound of Toro Y Moi infused the space with the jazzy, electronic, Chillwave sound they are known for while newer songs off of the Mahal album were infused with a 60’s and 70’s psychedelic rock flavour. The music has a beat and groove that had the audience feeling the music through their bodies and dancing along. The audience’s energy grew throughout the Toro Y Moi set with groups of friends dancing in the field to fans up front all vibing together as a unit. There was a calmness of body and warmth of face/presence that was completely contagious that Chaz Bear brought to the stage. A complete chill mode that is also reflected in Toro Y Moi’s sound. Physically hidden behind his mirrored blue sunglasses, Bear shared more of himself through the music, opening with Mirage about a mirage of a relationship, and continuing on with The Loop, about insecurities of being left behind as well as a commentary on the speed of things in our current social media crazed age. It is impressive how much Toro Y Moi can convey just through the perfect combination of sound and carefully chosen lyrics.

Stayin’ in the loop, yeah
East coast friends, fill me in
I know you get the early scoop
Online trends that border
cringe

The Loop -Album: Mahal -Toro Y Moi
Foushée starting off Day One of Re:SET in Boston. Photo: L Klein

Foushée

Foushée kicked off the very first day of Re:SET in Boston and she did it swimmingly. While the sun was still shining, Foushée took to the stage in triplicate with a hinged mirror reflecting her long blonde mane that accompanied her songs and dancing filling the stage with a flirty, playful verve. Foushée who co-wrote Steve Lacy’s Bad Habit gave Re:SET day one a sort of full circle moment. Foushée’s soulful sound connected with the audience as they began to gather by the stage for a weekend of live music. Day one’s sound leaned heavily towards R&B made modern with each artist laying in their own genre enhancing sounds. Part way through Foushée’s set, Steve Lacy popped into the pit just below the stage surprising her and lighting the 26 year old New Jersey to LA singer-songwriter-guitar-player up and bringing a whole new level of playfulness to close out her set. Foushée tossed Lacy her maraca (no that is not a euphemism) and the crowd went wild. After Foushée’s set you could not help but be hyped up for the night of music ahead and also be reminded of that camaraderie between each group of artists performing daily.

Day two of Re:SET was unfortunately rained out in Boston, with just Idles finding a way to have the show go one by relocating last minute for a show at The Sinclair in Cambridge and fans who were able to turned on their heals and flocked to The Sinclair in time to catch their midnight show. Day Three, luckily the rain let up and the Re:SET continued on to Boston fans’ delight.

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