Seeing bands grow is the best part of this job. I love seeing a no name band opening an under attended show at a venue like The 7th Street Entry and then, months later, see them sell out the mainroom at First Avenue. It gives me the cold fuzzies. Last night was a prime example of this. The first time I saw LANY they were opening up for Zella Day (okay, that one was a sold out Entry show but it was obvious that everyone was there for Zella Day, not LANY). Last night I watched in awe as they amazed a sold out crowd at the mainroom who had come just to see them.
To say that the crowd was into it last night would be an understatement. Kids in this crowd were super young but that didn’t stop them from going absolutely crazy. Even before the screen was lifted to unveil the stage, girls were shrieking at every slight movement or light flash happening behind the screen as the crew was setting up the stage. My friend (and photographer) and I couldn’t help but stand there laughing as we watched the hysteria take over the crowd. I mean, be honest, we’ve all been there. We were all 13 once with our musician crush and the voice-ending screams. To be a spectator of this was absolutely hilarious. We stood there and laughed until the screen started to to rise unveiling the stage. That’s when the screams became less fun and more painful. We still stood there smiles on our faces just waiting for what was to come.
LANY is a three piece alt-rock band from Los Angeles, California, They have that California vibe and laid back feeling that seems to be all the rage right now but what sets them apart from every other band that is blasting onto the scene is their live show. Singer Paul Klein never stops. From the moment he steps onto the stage and until the bitter end, he has a glisten in his eyes and a pep in his step. His energy is infectious and, when watching him live, whether you like the music or not, you can’t help but want to jump up on that stage and dance alongside of him. He knows how to get the crowd going with the slightest of movements. He seemed to love teasing the crowd what with kneeling towards the edge of the stage making girls in the front row scream louder than a freaking banshee. At one point he jumped into the crowd and his vocals were quickly drowned out by the shrieks of the young girls supporting his weight in the front of the crowd. (I think it was supposed to be a crowd surf moment but Paul never quite left the first couple of rows. Pretty sure this crowd was too young to even know how to get someone up for a surf.)
Having just released their debut self titled album in June of this year, it’s quite astonishing what this band has accomplished and how quickly they have climbed the ladder of fame. Sure they have singles and EPs that date back until 2014 but it seems like just in the past couple of months, they have turned into a household name. This is probably due to the catchiness of their music. Now, I’m not one for pop-music… I’m really not… but LANY’s music beautifully bridges the gap between pop, indie, and alternative music. It has that obnoxious, get stuck in your head styling of pop music, laid back feel of indie music and the high energy or any great alternative band. When all mixed together with the chill California vibe, you get a sound that’s impossible to ignore and impossible to hate.
Opening up the show was Norwegian pop star Dagny. I was instantly struck by Dagny’s voice. It was beautifully soulful while still staying within the pop music world. Much like LANY, Dagny and her two piece band (one man on keys and one behind the drumkit) had an electric sense of energy. If you were standing still during her performance then there is something terribly wrong with you. It was toe-tapping, head nodding and, for some in the crowd, go ape shit music. I watched in amazement as the young crowd sang along to this opener’s songs with all they had. There were times when a microphone wasn’t even necessary, they crowd was plenty loud to run the show themselves.
Dagny may be a fairly new face in the scene what with only one EP out but, much like LANY, I see her quickly shooting up the ladder of fame here in the U.S. She and her band had everything it takes to be the next big thing. They have the upbeat, fun sound. The cute look… everything. As I was watching her set, I found myself thinking the same things I was thinking the first time I saw LANY. I knew that LANY was going to be a thing the first time I saw them so I’m telling you now… Dagny will be the next big thing so hop on this wagon before you’re too late!
I was definitely feeling my age last night as I found myself lost in a sea of teenagers with more energy than I could ever have after a full day of work. I watched in amazement as the sold out room sang along to every single word of every single song. I remember falling in love with bands and following their every movement. Both Dagny and LANY seem to have that devout following and finding yourself lost in a crowd like that is a hell of a feeling.