Known for addictive soft-pop, LANY have come a long way since their gritty 2015 support show at The Bodega. Since they were last here, the LA outfit have grown immensely and refined their sound. SlantedPress headed down to their Rock City show to see if the band were any good, or just some Dumb Stuff.
With a near sold-out venue, Rock City was packed. Arriving relatively early we found ourselves a decent central spot on the balcony. Iâ€™ve been to my fair share of gigs and Iâ€™ve seen plenty of artists deliver, but thereâ€™ve been times where the act just hasnâ€™t lived up to expectations. I was interested to see how this would play out. So, when Charles Leslie (keyboardist/backing vocals) and Jake Goss (drums) took to the stage, there was a moment of doubt. It was an anxious start to the show. As the crowd screamed and the backdrop came to life, frontman Paul Klein made his entrance. It was time to see if the band could actually deliver.
Kicking off the show with their latest albumâ€™s opener â€˜Thick Or Thinâ€™ was a safe play, but set a well-rehearsed tone. Between the synth-drenched songs and Kleinâ€™s intensely LA-style dancing, LANY were making quite the pop statement. The band were giving their all, but the crowd were giving even more. Threaded throughout the set were tracks from their self-titled debut, but most of the show was the band projecting a powerful yet personal performance of sophomore album Malibu Nights.
Despite an engaging setlist, the night was made not by the band, but the fans. Whether the crowd were filling for Klein when he tipped the microphone our way, or naturally singing along, it was wonderful to be a part of. You donâ€™t get to pick the crowd at a gig, but it seemed like weâ€™d gotten lucky to have such enthusiastic fans. It has to be said, nothing quite compares to several hundred gig-goers singing as loud as they can to songs they love. Highlight moments were definitely â€˜Thru These Tearsâ€™ and â€˜ILYSBâ€™.
Overall, LANY offered a quality set. While the bandâ€™s unflinchingly melancholy album can come across as wallowing in heartbreak, I have to respect Klein for owning it. Their performance pushed past any prior doubt and, even when their instruments failed them, the band creatively improvised. With vocals that sounded as if theyâ€™d been pulled off the record paired with artful stage backgrounds (somewhat reminiscent of The 1975), LANY seems to have something that works. Plus, with a great crowd, you canâ€™t really go wrong.