Early in her opening set at Forest Hills Stadium on Saturday (7/31), Lucy Dacus asked the crowd if this was the first show they'd gone to since COVID. For many, it was, and there was a palpable sense of excitement and energy in the air. Saturday's show, part of Bright Eyes' first tour in ten years, was originally announced in January of 2020, and scheduled for last summer. Since then, Bright Eyes, Lucy, and Waxahatchee (replacing Japanese Breakfast, who was originally set to open this show like she did the Westville Music Bowl show on Wednesday, and has since begun her own headlining tour) all have released excellent new albums -- Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, Home Video, and Saint Cloud, respectively -- and the world has been plunged into, and begun to emerge from, COVID lockdown. Of course, things are still a long way from normal; Bright Eyes just postponed this tour's indoor shows, with COVID's contagious Delta variant in mind. Some people wore masks on Saturday, although most didn't.

In this charged atmosphere, Lucy Dacus' soothing voice cataloging adolescent awkwardness on songs from her new album was a balm. Her set, which closed with "Night Shift" from 2018's Historian, was all too short, but she's sure to play a longer one on Sunday (8/1) when she headlines Music Hall of Williamsburg, a last minute show that was announced after her scheduled Sunday show with Bright Eyes at Terminal 5 was postponed. Tomberlin opens the MHOW show, and tickets are on sale now.

Up next was Waxahatchee, aka Katie Crutchfield, who, after appearing solo and with Kevin Morby at Newport Folk Festival last weekend, played her first show with a new band, that includes her sister, Allison Crutchfield (Swearin', etc). Katie and Allison always sound gorgeous harmonizing together, and never more so than on songs like "Fire" from Saint Cloud. It was a treat to finally hear songs from that album, one of our favorites of 2020, live, as well as the very fun cover of HAIM's Women in Music Pt. III single "The Steps" they did. Watch video of "The Steps" below.

Before Conor Oberst joined them, the rest of Bright Eyes, along with an orchestra (a different one has been joining them in each city), did a rendition of Christopher Cross' "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," in honor of the tour's arrival in NYC. When Conor did come out, he was wearing a top-hat, a piano key tie, a coat with tails, and carrying a cane. He spent much of the night stalking the stage with a pent-up urgency, and alluded that it might be a while before the band tour again (not another 10 years, we hope!).

Similar to Wednesday night's New Haven show, Saturday night's setlist was heavy on older favorites like "Something Vague" and "The Calendar Hung Itself..." that had the crowd singing along, and Conor quipping that we were going back to the '90s. Another highlight was an emotional rendition of "Poison Oak." While Conor seemed to lose the thread of lyrics to a few songs, especially towards the end of the night, the feeling was still there, and it came across especially well in songs like The People's Key standout "The Ladder Song," and "Comet Song" off the new album.

See pictures from the whole night, a couple of video clips, and all three setlists in full below.

Get Lucy Dacus vinyl (including Home Video and the boygenius 12") and Waxahatchee vinyl (including Saint Cloud, Out in the Storm, Ivy Tripp, and a limited clear edition of Cerulean Salt) in the BV store.

Setlist: Bright Eyes @ Forest Hills Stadium, 7/31/2021
Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) (Christopher Cross cover)
Dance and Sing
Lover I Don't Have to Love
We Are Nowhere and It's Now
Four Winds
Mariana Trench
Something Vague
One and Done
Jejune Stars
Poison Oak
Another Travelin' Song
Neely O'Hara
Shell Games
No One Would Riot for Less
Bowl of Oranges
The Calendar Hung Itself...
Ladder Song
Comet Song

Encore:
First Day of My Life
I Believe in Symmetry
One for You, One for Me

Setlist: Waxahatchee @ Forest Hills Stadium, 7/31/2021
Oxbow
Can't Do Much
The Eye
Lilacs
The Steps (HAIM cover)
Hell
Witches
Ruby Falls
Fire
St. Cloud

Setlist: Lucy Dacus @ Forest Hills Stadium, 7/31/2021
Triple Dog Dare
First Time
Hot & Heavy
VBS
Brando
Night Shift