By the time I left the theater last night, I really wanted to post something about the show. I had a book review queued up for this morning and, even though I briefly considered rescheduling it, I knew I could not put a post together in time and still get some sleep. Besides, I really wanted to run the book review and I didn’t want to get even further behind in that department. Like that other concert review (Willie Nile) I didn’t plan a post and took no camera. Unlike at that concert, I did break down and snapped a couple of shots with my phone. The best (If you want a picture really bad, I’ve got a really bad picture.) is above.
I first heard of Lake Street Dive less than a year ago in a friend’s blog post. I was extremely impressed and, as I said I’d do in a comment on that post, I’ve been “keeping my ears open”. In January, when I heard of this Cincinnati show, I wasted only a little time before grabbing a ticket.
Midnight Moxie, an all girl trio with fantastic voices and adequate instrumental skills, did a nice job opening the show. It seemed like Lake Street Dive, as their career moves to a new level, are willing to help others do the same. I like that.
Frontwoman Rachael Price’s powerful voice is usually what grabs people’s attention when they hear Lake Street Dive for the first time but most soon realize that it is just one piece of the skills and talents making up the band. The other three members also sing and the harmonies are incredible. Each of them — Mike Olson guitar & trumpet, Bridget Kearney bass, and Mike Calabrese drums — is a master of their instrument. A video, of course, is worth all the words I could ever write. There are plenty on YouTube but I’ll point out two for starters. Here is the first video I saw via that blog post. Apparently it was the first look for a lot of other people, too, and is getting some credit for the recent popularity upswing. Here is a more recent four song clip of a radio station studio performance.
Saying that last night’s concert sounded just like the videos is definitely accurate and I could sum things up with that but there are a couple of specific moments worth reporting.
The place was full. I’ve seen it packed tighter and, although a sellout may have been announced, that’s probably not true in practical terms. But it was full. The audience was shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage. It seems the band simply had not expected this. Rachel actually used the word “surprised” when talking about the crowd. And it soon became apparent that it was a knowledgeable and enthusiastic crowd. It wouldn’t be fair to say that we impressed them as much as they impressed us but there is no doubt that Lake Street Dive appreciated their Cincinnati welcome. A few songs from concert’s end, as loud applause and cheers were fading, Rachel looked over the crowd, sort of shook her head, and stepped back to the mic. “Excuse my language”, she began, “but I don’t know what the f— we’ve been doing driving across Ohio.” A little later, when they returned to the stage for an encore, the first thing she did was try to make sure everyone knew what she meant. Someone up front assured her that we understood that she meant they should have been stopping in Ohio and not that they should have been avoiding it. That’s cute. That’s endearing.
They’re stopping in Ohio again tonight. In Columbus. The website says sold out but if you have a buddy at Skully’s who owes you a favor, this would be a good time to collect.