LIVE REVIEW: St. Lucia + Conway @ The Assembly Music Hall, Sacramento 2/7/14
Dynamic. Conway and St. Lucia embodied the word on a rainy Friday night in Sacramento but while it was blustering outside, these two high-energy bands kept us toasty and down right sweaty the whole evening.
Los Angeles-based Kassia Conway, better known as Conway, joined St. Lucia for a few California stops on the California portion of their tour, and boy, we were glad we got the chance to see her perform in the flesh. Though small in stature, Conway’s gusto filled up the entire room from floor to ceiling with a bravado similar to Karen O or Crystal Castles’ Alice Glass. From evocative ballads to word punchy tongue twisters, it was evident that Conway possesses a genuine passion for performance and that she means and feels every lyric that she sings.
An eager crowd awaited St. Lucia’s set and though the wait seemed to drag on forever, we kept ourselves entertained eavesdropping on a “better-door-than-a-window” squabble between a group of short girls and one very tall man. The anticipation erupted when St. Lucia set foot on stage in front of an impressively designed lighting display by the band’s light engineer. The vibrant yet simple lattice design brilliantly emphasized the band’s colorful demeanor as they opened the show with “The Night Comes Again.”
Inherent in the band’s name, a sense of escapism is always present in St. Lucia’s music and their live show carried forward that same concept. Through their sound and energy, the band managed to transport you to a carefree world where only happiness exists. Singer Jean-Philip Grobler‘s vocals were infallible on “Closer Than This” and with support from keyboardist Patricia Beranek and bassist Ross Clark, their collective vocals during the chorus were pitch perfect.
Multi-instrumentalist Nick Paul was a master multi-tasker jumping from synths to timbales and back all while feverishly dancing up a storm during “Wait For Love.” Towards the end of St. Lucia’s set, the band broke into a rendition of Rufus & Chaka Khan‘s “Ain’t Nobody” with contributing vocals coming out of the band’s sound booth by traveling engineer Marie Kim. Kim’s vocals astounded the crowd leaving many wondering, “why isn’t she in the band?” Turns out, Kim is in a band, just not this band. When she’s not traveling with St. Lucia, she fronts Brooklyn’s Blank Paper. At the close of the show, St. Lucia left the crowd floating cloud amidst sunny skies without a care in the world – exactly where fans wanted to be.
See a full gallery of St. Lucia keeping things toasty in Sacramento HERE!