Lake Street Dive Goes Down Smooth; Their Fans Do Not
Lake Street Dive, the products of the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, bring a unique blend of pop, Motown, blues, and swing that is impossible not to love. Nothing exemplifies the way that their music takes hold of listeners better than the fact that their show had been sold out for weeks prior, and that the cheapest online resale was five times face value. This was a very sought after ticket, and I felt privileged to witness the display of talent put on by Lake Street Dive at Variety Playhouse on Monday night.
However, before I talk about what passion, energy, and sincerity Lake Street Dive brought to the stage, I’d like to take a second to step up on my soap box. To the majority of the “fans” that my photographer and I interacted with: Why did you buy that ticket? Because it was sold out? Because you could afford it? To tell people you were there? For the Instagram post?
Because you certainly weren’t there to enjoy the music. Beyond being INCREDIBLY rude to my photographer (incidents like people attempting to either block her from getting to where she needed to be, completely or partially blocking shots, or in one case loudly stating, “Yea, well, she better fucking move”), and just generally being absolutely lifeless in the face of four of the most talented musicians to play at Variety Playhouse, you made the choice to come in, sit down, and watch a show. And missed every opportunity to be part of an experience. I hope you don’t make that mistake again.
Despite this (and I’ll take a step down now), I had a great time watching Lake Street Dive. Lead vocalist Rachel Price, drummer Mike Calabrese, upright bassist Bridget Kearney, and guitar/trumpet player Mike “McDuck” Olson played a flawless and soulful set that left me unable to sit still. There wasn’t a second that I wasn’t infatuated with their distinct sound, groovy moves, and overall musicianship.
Personal favorites from the evening were “You Go Down Smooth,” “Call Off Your Dogs” (which included a KILLER bass solo), a cover of George Michael’s “Faith,” and the finale, “My Speed,” which brought the audience back to the band’s debut, self-titled album.
Rachel Price commanded the stage, and the rest of the band left my jaw on the floor when they had their chances to show out. It had to have been one of the best performances, musically, that I’ve ever gotten the chance to see live. Thank you, Lake Street Dive, for your unrelenting energy and incomparable talent.
Photos by Sidney Spear for Bullet Music