Lake Street Dive could sell out Gillette Stadium! They've just come out with a new record (Side Pony) and are touring behind it, stopping at the House of Blues on March 23rd, the Beacon Theater in NYC the next night, and then going to conquer Europe. We got tickets seconds after they went on sale and they were sold out soon after that. I think the HOB Boston is an excellent venue and we were very eager to hear Rachael Price fill it with her blues-pop bellow ... as were lots of other people.
Drove in to the city after work and got a parking place on Van Ness street, then met Sarah and Dave for dinner at their restaurant. There were already people on the sidewalk looking for tickets. Joined the "bought entrees" line out on the sidewalk after we ate, where the March night was getting windier and chillier by the minute. We were some of the first in the place and got our normal spot to stage left. The HOB filled up fast and we were soon pressed into our corner by 2422 others (HOB capacity is 2425), who were almost as excited as we were.
The Suffers opened and blew us away! They're a tight blues band from Houston (they call their sound "Gulf Coast Soul") with a rocking horn section and a very talented lead singer, Kam Franklin. Franklin told the story of how they were a bunch of friends who got together and played on weekends, then got so much encouragement from fans that they took the leap and quit their day jobs, put out a crowd funded record, got picked to play on Letterman, and now are opening for Lake Street Dive. You gotta hear these guys, their meteoric rise is deserved. Here are some pictures.
Then they reconfigured the stage and Lake Street finally came out and the place went up like a rocket. Here's what they played:
I Don't Care About You
Stop Your Crying
Clear a Space
Spectacular Failure (with The Suffers' horn section)
Saving All My Sinning
Close to Me
Walking on Broken Glass (Annie Lennox cover)
Don't Make Me Hold Your Hand
You Go Down Smooth
Bad Self Portraits (with Kam Franklin)
Call Off Your Dogs
What I'm Doing Here
It was fantastic! Rachael Price (wearing glitter heels, a leather skirt, and a window shag) was bopping all over the stage and filling the HOB with her incredible voice. Bridget Kearney was wearing out her bass, picking it faster and harder then I'd ever seen ... I could just listen to her, I think she's amazing. Mike Calabrese's riser was set up to the right of the stage instead of the usual drummer's rear position, and he rocked us all night, even doing an excellent drum solo after Don't Make Me Hold Your Hand. And Mike Olson, like Bridget, was playing better than I'd ever heard him on guitar, though his trumpet playing was a bit below average. Olson has written some of the best songs on the new record IMO.
One small complaint: I felt the sound was a little off for the first two to three songs. The PA seemed to be struggling a little bit, but then I guess they added more power and the sound was not only loud, it was crystal clear.
Besides that momentary glitch, the whole evening was incredible and it's hard to pick highlights, especially when they opened with one of my favorite new songs of their's (Godawful Things) and just went up from there. They play such earworms, I'm going to be replaying their riffs in my head for weeks after seeing them. We all were trying to dance but there was no room!
A couple of moments I feel were exceptional were Rachael belting out her bluesy, torchy new song, Mistakes, like she was opening up her soul to the crowd and riveting the packed house. And Kam Franklin coming out to trade verses with Rachael on Bad Self Portraits. And they finished the night with their full, excellent cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, which had the people who hadn't heard it smacking their foreheads in disbelief.
Dave loved it too, he'd never seen them live and never been in the HOB, both things you have to do! Dropped him at the Charles stop after that and made it home ... another concert coming tomorrow.
Here are LSD pictures.