Lizzy McAlpine Captures the Essence of Growing ‘Older’ in Intimate Boston Return

Growing older is never easy. There’s excitement and anxiety for what’s to come, but there’s always that bittersweet longing for what once was. Lizzy McAlpine beautifully captures that limbo on her junior album Older, and now her 28-city tour, including a residency at Boston’s MGM Fenway. 

As a Berklee alum, Boston carries memories that have imprinted on McAlpine and her music like grabbing slurpees on Mass Ave under 7/11’s fluorescent lights. On June 22, McAlpine invited Boston to revisit the memories with her. 

As a single ghostlight dramatically cut out, scattered table lamps began to glow illuminating a cottage-like set framed by wooden beams and pillars. Audio of chirping birds and a man’s voice, possibly her late father’s, played the band onto the stage, the same band that recorded the album with her.  

Unlike her debut tour, all instruments were played live, there were no backing tracks. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, McAlpine shared “There’s much more freedom [performing without tracks]. During my last tour we did the same thing over and over again. With a live band with no tracks, we can do whatever we want, we can play whatever we want.”

That freedom provided the space for an intimate eighteen song setlist that included Older in its entirety, as well as surprise songs and the unreleased “Spring Into Summer,” which she wrote backstage before the previous show.

Photo of Lizzy McAlpine performing in Boston
Photo Credit: Hannah Sender

Before performing her third album’s title track acoustically, McAlpine recalled, “This was the first song that the three of us created together… this song is very special to me, obviously, it’s the title of the record and it really unlocked everything for me. After writing this song I went back to all the other songs and I saw them from a different perspective… it wasn’t the title of the record but after we wrote it, I was like, it has to be.” 

That shift was evident in the juxtaposition of Older’s emotional piano and guitar driven tracks and five seconds flat’s percussion-heavy and string-laden tracks. 

Song nine on McAlpine’s set brought her back to Boston, “A lot of these songs occurred on these streets,” she shared before performing “Drunk, Running.”

Part of growing up comes with loss. In 2020, McAlpine’s father Mark passed away. Her song “March” is an emotional tribute to him. Her touching performance brought many audience members to tears. 

Photo of Lizzy McAlpine performing Boston
Photo Credit: Deanie Chen
Photo of Lizzy McAlpine performing in Boston
Photo Credit: Hannah Sender

After being sucked in by “Vortex,” McAlpine left the stage for a moment only to be called back for an encore. “Okay, I’ll play two more songs,” she conceded. Every show, McAlpine surprises her fans with a new setlist addition. Boston was thrilled to sing “all my ghosts” along with McAlpine. 

McAlpine closed the night with “ceilings.” Climbing to over 548 million streams on Spotify, it’s safe to say it’s a crowd favorite, perhaps even THE favorite. After realizing that fans were leaving previous shows after she played it, she moved the emotional track from the middle of the setlist to the end. 

As McAlpine left the stage to thunderous applause, she waved and collected fan-made friendship bracelets for both herself and her bandmates leaving only the ghostlight glowing at centerstage once again. 

For tickets, visit

Featured Photo Credit: Deanie Chen

Photo of Lizzy McAlpine performing in Boston
Photo Credit: Hannah Sender