So about last weekend. Remember, that whole “three shows in four days thing”? I’m pretty sure that running on so little sleep for almost a week is what made me catch the mother of all illnesses, since I’ve been laid up with a fever ever since I got home. But man…it was worth it. The festivities began with Lucius at Union Transfer in Philly on Saturday. I dragged my sister along despite her being not at all familiar with them or their brand of alt-pop music, but she loves discovering new bands so she let herself be dragged. It helped that we both really like the venue, a fairly new facility fashioned after old-timey western music houses. We had issues getting our tickets which led to a bit of a panicky few minutes (not sure why the venue had so much trouble with will-call…might be good to get that sorted, eh, UT?), so we were lucky to nab a spot at the stage when they finally opened the doors. ‘Cause if there’s anything I’ve learned over my last couple of years of concert-going, it’s to make sure you’re in line prior to the doors opening so you can stand someplace where you can actually see (I’m extremely short. This is important). And I’m SO glad we got there in time to see the opener, a band called Pure Bathing Culture. Their ‘80s-influenced rock style weaved bits of Fleetwood Mac with the synth-pop sound that appeared on every soundtrack from that decade. The lead singer, who, according to my sister, was Juliette Lewis’s doppelganger, was riveting. They were the perfect primer.
There are a million things that make Lucius special, but at the top of the list are the voices of the lead vocalists, Jess and Holly. They sing everything – every single line of every single song – in harmony, and their intertwining vocals make the songs so rich and beautiful. Because the twinning effect wouldn’t be complete without a visual, the ladies emerged onto the stage with the same flaming red pompadour hairstyle and adorned in matching capes, gold lame bodysuits, and thick gold necklaces. My sister’s analogy was perfect – “superhero stewardesses.” But the effect was dazzling – they were gorgeous, mod, ridiculously chic. You couldn’t take your eyes off them. And the costumes complemented the music perfectly; otherworldly, reminiscent of earlier eras yet so fresh and modern, and so completely them. If there’s one thing Lucius are, it’s utterly original. You can’t imagine anyone making music or performing the way they do. And the best part – you could tell just by watching them that they were having the time of their lives. They played with such passion and joy and looked unutterably happy. And that bled into the audience’s reaction – the vibes were so good, I think every single person in attendance left with a smile on his or her face. The night even concluded with a massive group hug as the girls and the singer from Pure Bathing Culture sang a cover of Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
The show was a perfect blend of hits from their first album and tracks from their new album. We went crazy during “Born Again Teen”, were electrified by “Almost Makes Me Wish for Rain” and were destroyed by “Go Home,” which they invited us all to sing with them. So we did, all 1200 of us in that sold-out crowd, in one of the most heartfelt, passionate singalongs I’ve ever been a part of. The entire night was incredible, up to the point where the house lights came on. We were so reluctant for it to end that we, the audience, kept right on cheering and clapping. I cannot wait to see these guys again. And my sister is now a new fan, and really, there is no better endorsement than that.