LOS ANGELES — Supergroup boygenius asked fans at the rear of the audience to lower the volume of their sobbing during a recent show at the Bronze Horse Nightclub in Highland Park, attendees confirmed.
“We appreciate that our music has such an intense effect on you, and we don’t want to police your fun,” said Phoebe Bridgers as the group was preparing to introduce their new single “Not Strong Enough.” “It’s just that we’re trying to open up the pit, and it’s hard to get pumped when we can hear you all bawling back there. This makes a good 50 consecutive shows of this. It’s like we’re putting out the wrong vibes or something.”
Jeremy Brooks, a fan whose eyes were still wet with tears from the show, said he appreciated the way the band communicated with the audience.
“They really make you feel like you’re part of the whole experience, like you matter as an individual,” said Brooks. “Like at one point, Julien Baker was just yelling at everyone, ‘Get on your fucking feet!’ Then she pointed directly at me and said, ‘Especially you. Security told us that if you collapse into the fetal position one more time, they’re going to have you removed.’ I’ve been to a lot of shows, and I’ve never felt that kind of connection with a band before.”
Bronze Horse owner Calvin Steadman said he had been excited for the band’s performance, but would be hesitant to host them again without a revised contract.
“I had never worked with this promoter before, but when they mentioned boygenius, I was all in. My kids love them and they put on a hell of a show,” said Steadman whose club hosts a wide variety of acts. “The fans, though. We weren’t ready for them. I’m used to seeing people get banged up in the pit, or maybe a fight or two breaking out, but I’ve never had anyone slip on tears until tonight. And that’s not even mentioning the snot. My guys are asking for hazard pay. Unless the band agrees to cover the cost of cleanup next time, I just can’t have them back.”
After the show, sources reported that Lucy Dacus held the microphone out for the audience to sing the refrain of “Bite the Hand,” only for a fan to grab it and launch into a tearful monologue about how the band’s music had saved her.