St. Lucia Kick Off Four-Night Run in Fine Fashion

January 17th, 2014

St. Lucia – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 16, 2014

Music Hall of Williamsburg burst at the seams last night as St. Lucia embarked on the first of four sold-out shows. Panama Wedding, the up-and-comers that impressed at CMJ 2013, played a tight set of songs from their debut album, which will be released via Glassnote Records later this year. The band’s woozy pop numbers proved to be an excellent pairing with St. Lucia’s tropical synth-pop aesthetic. Peter Kirk, Jared McCarthy, Brett Spigelman, Jon Tortora and Lauren Zettler are a delightful team to watch onstage. Be sure to keep an ear out for Panama Wedding’s anthemic ballads and catchy melodies in the coming months.

The stage underwent a quick transformation and St. Lucia launched into a dreamy set filled with euphoric light displays and several of their most melodious songs. The band led with the opening track off their most recent album, When the Night. St. Lucia’s frontman, South African Jean-Philip Grobler, expressed how grateful he and the band were to be back in their home base, insisting, “New York is extra-amazing.” St. Lucia’s songs are all distinctly memorable, which makes them perfect for live performances—the crowd sang along on more than half the tunes. “Before the Dive” and “Closer Than This” rang out as the thick flock of concertgoers undulated. “All Eyes on You” and “Elevate” elicited the highest degree of audience participation as Grobler’s elegant howl resounded throughout the venue.

A cover of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” included striking vocals from the band’s sound operator, who remained in the sound booth as she sang, causing a unique vocal effect. The set quietly dipped as “Paper Heart” sent the audience into a lulled trance. But new drummer Dustin Corcoran’s solo got the energy soaring once again, before “The Way You Remember Me” and “Too Close” rounded out the set. During a brief encore, the band dosed the audience with the heavy synths of “September” and the breezy “When the Night. Those with tickets to St. Lucia’s weekend shows are in for some serious sonic bliss. —Schuyler Rooth