You may have noticed that live-music audiences have been acting the fuck out lately. People keep throwing things at pop stars, and those pop stars keep getting hit: Bebe Rexha with a phone, Kid Cudi with bottles, Lady Gaga with a Dr. Simi doll, Kane Brown with a cowboy boot. People have thrown so many things at Harry Styles’ eyes that you have to wonder whether some portion of an audience sees his live show as target practice. Just recently, Cardi B went viral when she chucked her mic at the audience member who’d just thrown water on her. Steve Lacy, for one, says that he’s learning to accept that this is how it is.
Last year, Lacy, now 25, scored an out-of-nowhere #1 hit when his song “Bad Habit” went mega-viral. That led to Lacy playing to new audiences, some of which are both young and rowdy. In a new Variety profile, Lacy says that his new crowds are nothing like the audiences that he saw as a member of the Internet: “At first, I was so thrown off because the Internet shows are more intellectual. It was cool shit And now, it’s kids.”
At a show in New Orleans last year, one of those kids threw a disposable camera at Steve Lacy. He smashed the camera and immediately ended the show, and footage of the incident quickly went viral. On Instagram soon after, Lacy wrote, “i don’t believe i owe anyone an apology- maybe i couldve reacted better? sure. always. i’m a student of life. but i’m a real person with real feelings and real reactions.”
In the Variety profile, Lacy says, “These moments just go viral. As soon as anything has virality to it, it’s like that’s everything you’ve done. That’s what I hated most about that moment… People were pissed at me for it, but now they’re like, ‘He was fuckin’ right — y’all shoulda listened to Steve!’ I didn’t apologize for that shit because I’m not wrong!”
But Lacy also says that these audience hijinks are the new normal and that they’ve essentially become part of the job:
I had to accept that this is how these kids are. I was pissed at first — they want so much. Can you do this? Can you do that? I’m gonna throw this up here for you. I love you. But I don’t see them being wrong for it anymore. As much as it fucking annoys me sometimes, they’re just young. A lot of these kids — it’s their first concert, so they don’t even know what concert etiquette is. I’m starting to love them, and I couldn’t imagine my shows without them. They don’t give a fuck how uncool they look, and I appreciate that.
Lacy also disputes the idea that fans at his live shows only sing along with the parts of “Bad Habit” that tend to appear in TikTok videos: “I hate that narrative. No, motherfucker! I’ve got mad hooks that everybody sings along to. Let me get the fucking record straight there: That happened at a couple shows, and only because I was doing too much, trying to get them to sing the whole verse. That was on me.”
You can read the full Variety feature on Steve Lacy here.