Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lake Street Dive's Night of Cool Grooves

Lake Street Dive - photo by John V
Lake Street Dive, the pop/jazz/soul ensemble led by magnetic front-woman Rachael Price, took the stage Saturday night at New Haven's College Street Music Hall for a sold out concert, and made the place their own. Kicking off their set with the title track from their 2014 album Bad Self Portraits, the band treated us to a spectacular show. Price’s voice is simply astonishing. It’s an instrument unto itself: sensual, soulful, and powerful. From the blues-ier sounds of “I Don’t Care About You” to the dance pop stylings of “Call Off Your Dogs” the strength & power of her vocals soared across the venue. Rounding out the band are the incredible Bridget Kearney on standup bass & vocals, the fluid and multi-talented Mike Olson on guitar, trumpet & vocals and the solid & commanding drum work & vocals from Mike Calabrese. Everyone contributes immeasurably to the eclectic sound & overall success of this amazing group.

The band’s strong chemistry makes it all look easy; they’re so in sync and comfortable with each other on stage that they can trade riffs & vocals effortlessly, jumping from tunes like a jazzy cover of George Michael’s “Faith” to the rocking “Hell Yeah” without missing a beat. And they’re fun. Their obvious joy at playing together and strength of spirit as a band is infectious. From kinetic performances such as “Spectacular Failure” from their current release Side Pony, to more sultry numbers like “Seventeen,” and "Saving All My Sinning" the group essentially blew the roof off the place, and showed lesser bands how it’s done. I can’t say enough positive things about Lake Street Dive, or their out of this world performance & undeniable groove. I would very quickly run out of ways to praise them, and just keep telling you how awesome they truly are. Any band that busts out a rocking cover of the McCartney/Wings number “Let Me Roll It” (with Price helping out on guitar) and shortly thereafter can touch your heartstrings with their soulful love song (and audience favorite) "My Speed" deserves your rapt attention.

Lake Street Dive - photo by John V
This was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. The audience's enthusiasm level never abated during the entire concert. If you like Motown, The Beatles, dance pop, classic soul, or jazz, Lake Street Dive’s unique melting pot of sounds should appeal to you. The group first met at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and have been performing together since 2004. The band's popularity has been steadily on the rise recently; they're on the road for the next couple of months. If you get the chance, they are truly a must see; run, don't walk to your local venue and check them out. Joey Dosik, a talented singer-songwriter/keyboardist, opened the show at College Street, and his smooth soul & cool vibes were a perfect appetizer for Lake Street’s performance. Ironically, Dosik also covered a McCartney/Wings tune in his set, the Back to The Egg track, “Arrow Through Me.” You can find out more about Lake Street Dive at their website here: http://www.lakestreetdive.com. And here’s a link to Joey Dosik’s page: http://joeydosik.com. You can also read my review of Side Pony here: http://jveclectic.blogspot.com/2016/02/lake-street-dives-genre-hopping-party.html, and check out a live performance of "Call Off Your Dogs" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFKG6bS01ns&spfreload=5.

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