Fresh from raiding the wardrobe of Breaking Bad‘s Jesse Pinkman, Paul Klein bounds on stage in baggy garms and a celebratory mood, before shikoing and kissing the stage. The frontman’s stage presence is part ecstatic frat boy part kangaroo, as he jumps from the piano, man-handles the mic stand (at one point holding it point first into the crowd like a joust) and provides dorky keyb solos whilst air-thrusting. His relentless energy is infectious. Tonight, ever song is an anthem.
Of course, some already were. ‘Thick And Thin’ & ‘Good Girls’ are their two best songs, and they started with those. So it’s a testament to Klein’s stage antics and the playing of the band (embellished by a further member on tour) that the set never lets up.
There’s an intensity to this even though it’s pure power pop, and the band’s unflinching focus on relationship breakdown as subject matter may explain why the majority of whoops breaking out on the night (there are a lot) come from women.
LANY love the sound of humming synths, clean guitar lines and simple & appealing choruses. These are all things the muck of live rendition can obscure, however they retain the crystalline sound of their albums. ‘Hericane’ with its tidal washes of synth sounds (literally) elemental, ‘Super Far’ is still the biggest sing-a-long.
While new album Malibu Nights gets a thorough run-out, plenty of their debut is here, and sounds better than ever – solid album track ‘The Breakup’ sounds great, though tender torch songs ’13’ & ‘Overtime’ would have been nice.
As the encore rounds out with ‘Thru These Tears’ & of course ‘ILYSB’ LANY confirm the dreaminess of their sound does not make for a sleepy live band. The crowd reaction is the best I’ve seen (read: heard, read: I was deafened) all year and the handfuls of roses thrown on stage, in rough clumps which on one occasion splat Klein squarely in the face, are a testament to that. So long as no one throws a vase I suppose it’s all fine.