Steve Lacy delivers the perfect sunset set at Reading 2023

One of the most exciting minds going right now, sunset has never sounded so sweet

Words: Jamie Muir.
Photos: Patrick Gunning.

For all the excitement of the weekend, there’s a celebration of individuality and uniqueness that rings out when Steve Lacy takes to Main Stage East. It’s a tour-de-force of effortless swagger and intoxicating charm that signals the arrival of an artist where genre is firmly thrown out of the window in favour of jaw-dropping vision and a natural twist where each step feels just right. When people talk about the perfect sunset set, the dictionary should say now on two words: Steve Lacy.

Oozing with superstar presence, the sprawling crowds gathered are met with spellbinding magic. It’s all magnetised around Steve’s presence, moving between mood-setting cuts like ‘Mercury’, ‘Lay Me Down’ and ‘Buttons’ with a potent power that most would dream of. Lead by a figure who can move between guitar hero at one moment and the conductor of a swaying congregation the next, every part of today’s show puts Steve Lacey in that superstar bracket. At its foundations are a mesmerising blend of tracks. Whether it’s early lo-fi cuts like ‘Infrunami’ and the searing punk kick of ‘4real’ or the smoother twists of ‘N Side’ and ‘Some’, it’s a transporting drop into something altogether more hypnotic.

More than anything, Steve Lacy taking to Main Stage East feels like the perfect alignment of vision and untapped potential to come. While the sheer crossover size of ‘Bad Habit’ may have opened the door to many, it’s about what comes from there that feels all the more exciting. Already carrying himself as a bonafide superstar laying out his craft for the world to see – tonight’s moment at Reading is leading the way for an entire career that’s sure to be based around refusing the norm and pushing to something more exciting and new. One of the most exciting minds going right now, sunset has never sounded so sweet