It was Friday the 13th in NYC, and while most people probably were scared of misfortune and misery, I felt pretty damn lucky down by Irving Plaza. At long last I was about to see and hear LANY, the captivating LA-based group that had been, for about a year at that point, captivating my attention with each release. It had began with their song “WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS?“, a song that is an ode to having a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles, that first caught my attention; I had recently moved back to NYC from LA, and boy, was the song accurate to how I felt living out west. From there the love grew, as I slowly yet surely dove deeper into LANY‘s synth soaked catalogue all lined with an artistic flair.
For those who haven’t heard their music, or heard of them; LANY is a band currently in the middle of a rapid rise. The hit single off of their self titled debut that came out this past summer, “Super Far“, has been taking over both Alternative and Pop charts with its addictively catchy chorus and melodic build (with a petty cool video to boot). So what is it about this band that has made them grow exponentially since releasing their debut, all while garnering a dedicated fanbase over the course of three (official) EP’s? Well, in my opinion, it’s their authenticity in sound. LANY is a band at the crossroads of Pop and Indie Rock, but that comes with the territory of being as synth heavy as they are. From their formation in 2014, their sound always seemed to be pulled from another time– that of the 80’s and 90’s. Take for instance the first song on I Loved You., “4EVER!“; the song sounds like a mix Paula Abdul would have used back at the height of her fame. There are times frontman Paul Klein will sing in a way that takes from Michael Jackson, and others where his love for the late king of pop is written into the lyrics– this all while the band are dressed like Danny Elfman in his Oingo Boingo days (I mean this as a compliment). Further, LANY‘s sound has been so consistent that they’ve now honed in on perfecting what they had set out to create; a nü-retro sound with a carefully curated artistic image, that has more to be found beneath the surface, such as in their video for “ILYSB“. Their sound and image have been benefitting immensely from the musical resurgence of 80’s alternative and 90’s pop, and coupled with lyrics ranging from tales of high school love to heartbreak as an adult, it’s clear to see why LANY is on the fast track to be one of the biggest indie pop acts in the country, if not the world.
So, preface aside, as a self-proclaimed synth-addict with a love for the 80’s, I was truly excited to finally see them live. This show on the 13th was apart of their tour in support of their debut album, but most importantly, it was the first of three shows in a row the band would play in NYC over the weekend. In an impressive feat, LANY had sold out both their shows on the 14th and 15th, and had added this show last minute– which nearly sold out itself.
Now, when LANY finally came on the stage, the crowd was sent into a frenzy. With Jake Goss (drums) and Les Priest (guitar+keys) shrouded in the light from their giant LED panels while Klein commanded the stage, their set was fun from beginning to end. What I really appreciated, and what I always appreciate when it’s done, is that LANY really took the time to make an aesthetic for their show and for each song. There was a clear, intentional art that they wanted to communicate beyond the music; and when a band is not only talented live but puts the extra work in to create a live show that enhances their setlist in an artistic way– well, it makes for a damn good show and a fully fleshed out artist. Adding to their aesthetic was of course the fans, who went above and beyond knowing every lyric: during a song entitled “Flowers on The Floor“, multiple fans threw roses onto the stage that showered Paul in petals as the LED screens depicted roses as well. The show felt so immersive and wonderful, and as a fan who tries not to expect much from live shows as a general rule, I was floored. When I wasn’t taking photos, I was dancing, themed whiskey drink in hand with my best friend who was waiting for me. In the end, LANY‘s show kicking off their three nights in NYC was an amazing night of joy for myself, and I’m sure for most others in the venue who danced the night away.
LANY is still on tour, and I’d be sure to catch them now while they’re still at smaller venues. It’s a really fun show, and while I missed their opening act, Dagny, my best friend couldn’t stop raving about her; so after listening to her music via streams, I’m forever regretful that I missed seeing her. So do yourself a favour– if you like synth heavy indie, take a listen to LANY and then have the time of your life when you catch them live.
THE LANY TOUR PART 2
10/18 Toronto, ONT @Danforth Music Hall
10/19 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
10/20 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
10/23 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/24 Kansas City, MO @ TBD
10/25 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
10/26 Salt Lake City, UT @ Rockwell at The Complex
10/29 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
11/1 Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl at Hard Rock
11/2 Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
11/3 Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
11/6 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
11/7 Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
11/9 Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
11/11 Edmonton, ALB @ Union Hall
11/12 Calgary, ALB @ MacEwan Ballroom
Last modified: October 17, 2017