LIVE REVIEW: Lake Street Dive + The Congress @ Troubadour, LA 3/15/14
The Congress opened things up Saturday night, bringing some classic Southern rock fitting of bassist/frontman Jonathan Meadows’ tie-dye shirt and epic beard. Most of their songs featured extended jams where guitarist Scott Lane really laid down the law. Lane burned through solos like he was born to do it, on top of songs that had the audience groovin’. After a cover of Roberta Flack’s “Killing me Softly,” the guys closed with a powerful rendition of “Walls,” from their Whatever You Want EP.
Lake Street Dive admitted that they were nervous playing the “legendary” Troubadour, but they had no reason to be. From the time the soul/jazz/rock four-piece took the stage, they blew everyone away. The band – whose members are from all over, but are now based in Brooklyn – played a lot of their just-released second album, Bad Self Portraits. Singer Rachael Price is a wonder, with the stage presence of a sly vet, and the strong, soulful voice of a Motown star. The crowd cheered during Bridget Kearney’s bass intro to “Leave a Space,” a track that saw Mike Olson swapping out his guitar for some funky trumpet.
“Just Ask” felt like the high point of a universally strong set. Atop a marching drumbeat and sparse bass, Price knocked it out of the park, causing the rock n’ roll vets in the crowd to high-five. Drummer Mike Calabrese sang co-lead on “Seventeen,” one of several songs that had the crowd clapping along. The Congress joined in on “Rental Love,” with Meadows and Price trading verses at the front of the stage. Lake Street Dive ended their set with “You Go Down Smooth,” a track that’s been getting a lot of buzz, including an appearance last month on The Colbert Report.
For their encore, the band had the crowd sing along to “Got Me Fooled,” making the Troub feel like one big jam party. The Congress joined in again for the closer, a cover of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It” that would’ve made Paul proud. After 22 songs, Price’s voice was as strong as ever, and it felt like the band could’ve kept going forever.
It’s hard not to sound hyperbolic when describing how great the night was, but with elements of soul, jazz, pop, and rock, and a flippin’ fantastic vocalist, Lake Street Dive put on one of the best shows of the year.
Check out a full gallery of Lake Street Dive bringing soul to the Troubadour HERE!