Concert Reviews

Review & setlist: boygenius gives everything they’ve got (and more) at MGM Music Hall at Fenway

Indie supergroup boygenius surprised fans Monday night at MGM Music Hall by announcing a new EP and bringing Hozier onstage for the finale.

The members of boygenius, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Lucy Dacus, perform "Anti-Curse" at MGM Music Hall Monday, Sept. 25. Laura Emde/

“Give me everything you’ve got,” sing the members of boygenius in the opening song of “the record.” At their show in Boston, boygenius did just that and more.

Indie supergroup boygenius put on an incredible performance Monday night at MGM Music Hall at Fenway, as part of the fall leg of their ongoing tour.

The band came together in 2018 when its three members, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, recorded their eponymous six-song EP as promotion for a tour they planned to co-headline. However, when the trio realized what a strong dynamic they had, boygenius was born. In March, the band released their first full album, “the record,” receiving many positive reviews.


Monday’s concert was boygenius’ second visit to Boston this year. The trio headlined the third day of the Re:SET Concert Series at the Stage at Suffolk Downs in June, and performed at the Orpheum Theatre back in 2018. Bridgers in particular has made multiple trips to Massachusetts recently, as she opened for and joined Taylor Swift onstage at “The Eras Tour” at Gillette Stadium in May.

Before boygenius went on stage at MGM Music Hall, Palehound performed as the opening act, giving an energetic performance and preparing fans for boygenius. After the indie-rock band’s set, Jean-Luc Pierite, president of the North American Indian Center of Boston, briefly took the stage to recognize the Massachusett and Pawtucket territory where MGM Music Hall is located.

After “The Boys Are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy played over the loudspeakers, boygenius took the stage, initially appearing over a live video feed. Backstage, the trio sang “Without You Without Them,” an a capella song featuring gorgeous harmonies. The band then showed off the range of their catalog, by following the song with the faster-paced “$20.” The variety of their discography with slower, heartfelt ballads such as “Emily I’m Sorry” and “We’re In Love,” to their energetic and exciting songs such as “Satanist” and “Not Strong Enough” had the crowd up on their feet.


During the show, the band talked about Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Bridgers had almost attended, but ultimately left the school, joking that Berklee students in the audience should do the same.

“Drop out. Make friends, make a band and drop out,” Bridgers said. She then made a joke about the high cost of college tuition before going into the next song.

In addition to the boygenius discography, the trio also played a song from each of their solo catalogs: “Please Stay” by Dacus, “Favor” by Baker, and “Graceland Too” by Bridgers. The inclusion of the solo portion allowed each member to shine and show off their vocal prowess. Within the main catalog, each member had their moment in the spotlight, with Dacus leading “True Blue,” Bridgers leading “Letter to an Old Poet” and Baker leading “$20.”

After the solo songs, boygenius played “Black Hole,” an unreleased song. As fans took in the emotional song, the trio announced that their new EP, “the rest,” will be released Oct. 13, much to the excitement of the crowd.

The show’s main set ended on a high note with “Not Strong Enough.” During which the crowd danced and sang along to the bridge’s mantra: “Always an angel, never a god.” 


The band returned to the stage for an encore, playing “Ketchum, ID” and “Salt in the Wound” from their first EP. Concertgoers received a second surprise during “Salt in the Wound,” as Hozier joined boygenius onstage for the finale, taking part as the trio celebrated one another onstage.

Overall, boygenius shared a clear message of acceptance at the show. After Palehound, a QR code appeared on the screen, encouraging attendees to donate to support LGBTQ+ youth for the chance to win a free vinyl. During the encore, Bridgers asked the audience “Who’s gay?” From a band that recognizes the value of visibility, the cheering response affirmed that Monday evening’s performance was enjoyed to the fullest by all of its fans.

Setlist for boygenius at MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Monday, Sept. 25

Intro: “The Boys Are Back in Town” — Thin Lizzy

  1. “Without You Without Them”
  2. “$20”
  3. “Satanist”
  4. “Emily I’m Sorry”
  5. “True Blue”
  6. “Cool About It”
  7. “Souvenir”
  8. “Bite the Hand”
  9. “Revolution 0”
  10. “Stay Down”
  11. “Leonard Cohen”
  12. “Please Stay” — Lucy Dacus
  13. “Favor” — Julien Baker
  14. “Graceland Too” — Phoebe Bridgers
  15. “Black Hole” (unreleased, first time live)
  16. “Me & My Dog”
  17. “We’re in Love”
  18. “Anti-Curse”
  19. “Letter To An Old Poet”
  20. “Not Strong Enough”


21. “Ketchum, ID”

22. “Salt in the Wound” (with Hozier)


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