It’s always an incredible feeling when you witness a band whose live performance actually enhances their studio material. It’s an even greater feeling when the studio material of said band is pretty damn good to begin with. This was just the case for Brooklyn indie pop act, Lucius, whose 2013 debut Wildewoman received praise from both critics and fans alike. I joined a sold out crowd at the Parish in Austin, TX who braved the bitter (sort of) Texas cold to witness a mesmerizing performance from a promising young band.
Lucius at The Parish in Austin
As Lucius settled on the stage, a gentle hush filled the eager crowd. The light smoke–slowly emanating from the stage area–was accentuated by a beautiful light display projected behind the band. It was the ideal atmosphere for Lucius’ gorgeous opener; a stunning rendition of the Kinks’ “Strangers.” Singer Jess Wolfe began the song in a solo whisper, as the rest of the band joined-in after the first few lines were sung a capella.
It was the perfect intro to a performance highlighted by the group’s ability to create haunting vocal harmonies. One track in particular, “Go Home” stood out as one of the most enthralling performances of the night due to the fantastic chemistry between Wolfe and band member Holly Laessig. This captivating blend of rich harmonization and intense emotional energy really seemed to win over the capacity-crowd.
However, the performance wasn’t just a demonstration in vocal prowess. The band’s musicianship was as tight as could be. And yet, Lucius played with a looseness that made me think they were having just as much fun performing as the audience was soaking in the powerful pop tunes. On multiple occasions the crowd was encouraged to sing and clap along with the band, which only added to the highly-entertaining performance.
Crowd favorites “Wildewoman” and “Turn it Around” had sent the crowd into frenzy just from their opening notes. Most in attendance had succumbed to the vibrant melodies and begun to dance along. The highlight of the night was when Lucius launched into “Genevieve”; a jaunty little pop gem that features a bouncy bassline, some lively percussion, and pretty killer vocals.
For the encore, the band descended into the crowd with just a guitar and a microphone. They prompted the crowd to stand around them arm-in-arm as they played an intimate version of “Two of Us on the Run,” followed by a stripped-down Wilco cover. The performance had ended on a somber whisper, similar to the way it all began.
You couldn’t have asked for a better crowd, as the audience seemed engaged throughout the entire show. The band did its part to match the energy of the crowd and provided a memorable night for all in attendance. Lucius is a must-see for anyone looking to experience a really fun and equally-impressive live pop act.
Article by Trevor Ziegler