Last night’s Lake Street Dive performance was my third sold out show in a row. It makes me so happy to see that so many people are getting out and enjoying live music but it can lead to some obnoxious nights. It’s not that I’m not a people person– more that I just hate people. I like my personal bubble and like to be able to get the bathroom and bar with ease. Needless to say, I was a bit annoyed when getting to the venue. Not only was it sold out, but it was sold out with the type of people who treat concerts like a social hang out and think it’s perfectly acceptable to carry on conversations as the act performs even if that means shouting every single word. I wasn’t going to let that get to me last night and, thankfully, the two acts performing made everything around me disappear and I ended up having a hell of a good night.
I don’t know what I was expecting from the show last night having never even heard the music of the headliner (although I was familiar with their name), but I know I wasn’t expecting what opener Liz Vice brought to the table. Liz took the stage promptly at 8PM and I was instantly captivated by her charm. Honestly, She could have just stood up on stage with a smile on her face as she waved ‘hi’ to every single member of the sold out audience and I would have been completely content watching that. When she opened her mouth and began to sing, I instantly shuddered and had the chills. There was something so tortured and haunting about Liz’s voice but yet it was so beautiful that it could make you cry if she said just the right words. I was honestly taken aback and don’t think I moved an inch during her set other than to snap a quick photo and beg everyone on my social media platforms to check her out.
Liz’s voice definitely leaned towards the gospel side of things. The way her voice commanded your attention and filled up the entire theater with ease just showed off how much power this woman truly has. Although the lyrical content was more serious than not, there was a sense of fun that came from Liz as she joked around with the crowd that seemed to surprise her with just how supportive they were. With songs about social justice and injustice, Liz’s music is something that truly paints a picture of the world we live in today with a sense of conviction and passion that is impossible to ignore. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to start listening to gospel music during my drive to and from work but Liz’s voice and style is something that will definitely stick with me for some time. I’m already waiting for her to announce another Twin Cities show so I can bring all of friends just so they can experience the amazingness that I did.
Last night was an example of a show where the opener was so great and surprising that I could have easily left and been content with how my night went. I was honestly debating it as the stage was turned over for the headliner. My exhaustion levels are at an all time high and I can feel that little tickle in my throat that is the tell tale sign of a bout of strep throat to come. That’s when the house lights went down and the stage lights started whizzing around the Palace Theatre. With no music and only the sound of the cheering crowd to go with the moving lights, there was something about the energy that told me I just couldn’t leave right now. Something was going to happen and it was something I just couldn’t miss. After a couple of seconds of pure hype, the members of Lake Street Dive took the stage and within the first couple of notes I knew this was a show that I wouldn’t be leaving early from.
Even though Lake Street Dive was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, the Twin Cities have claimed this band as one of our own. Guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson is actually a Twin Cities native and brought the name Lake Street Dive with him. Lake Street is a really street in Minneapolis (that I live only a couple blocks from) full of funky dive bars and really cool shops. Again, they aren’t a Minneapolis band but as singer Rachael Price said, “The Twin Cities is like a second home to us!” and we are truly happy to have them whenever they come visit.
Lake Street Dive’s music is all over the place making the Thursday night set seem to fly by. With elements of everything from blues to doo-wop to just old fashioned rock n’ roll all wrapped up in a bow of indie pop, it’s music that makes you want to dance along to the beat. Whether you showed up to the Palace Theatre alone or with a group of friends, there was no way to resist the infectious beats pumping through the speakers and within no time, you would be dancing around like a complete fool completely forgetting that you were surrounded by thousands of strangers with very little personal space. I can’t tell you how many times people bumped into my throughout the set. Typically this would annoy the crap out of me as I love my personal space but something was different about last night. With every bump came a pat on the back, an apology, and then some shared dance moves between the stranger and I. It’s crazy how music can take one of the shyest people in the world (myself) and make them forget everything to the point where they are taking the hands of strangers to dance together.
With an over twenty song set list, there was not a single moment while watching Lake Street Dive where I was bored or even tempted to head for the door. There was something electric about not only the band, but also the crowd, that I completely got lost in. I had been resistant to this band for awhile now just due to the fact that I thought they were over-hyped and didn’t deserve the attention they were getting but I get it now. This band deserves every ounce of attention you have to give them.
Sold out shows aren’t my favorite. I hate the feeling of clutching my purse and constantly looking for a path to the bar or bathroom. Last night was different. I found myself in close proximity with strangers but, instead of being annoyed, I was dancing with them hand in hand. Yeah, it was a weird night for me but it was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.