Lucius – Town Hall – March 22, 2018
Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the band Lucius struck quite an arresting image onstage at Town Hall during last night’s sold-out show, with their matching platinum-blonde wigs aglow under a large, color-changing neon sign bearing the band’s name. Incredible aesthetics aside, Lucius’ real impact comes the moment that Wolfe and Laessing begin to sing. As they stepped up to a shared microphone center stage to perform their first song, “Go Home,” they immediately created a sense of intimacy within the large concert hall.
That sense of intimacy is a key element to the band’s new record, Nudes, featuring acoustic and reimagined versions of songs from their catalog, along with some covers, which the musicians recorded with the goal of drawing listeners in and furthering the connection between the artist and listener. Last night, songs like “Tempest,” “Right Down the Line” and “Turn It Around,” were adorned by nothing more than acoustic guitars and drums, with Wolfe and Laessig’s unison vocals and harmonies soaring throughout the room. Cover songs were also prominently featured in the set list, including a sweet version of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” plus the Kinks’ “Strangers” and Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You in the End,” which the band blended into a rendition of their own “Two of Us on the Run.”
It was clear that the commitment to creating a connection with the audience was foremost on the band’s mind, and Wolfe and Laessig also devoted several minutes during the show to speak frankly to the crowd, expressing their gratitude, reflecting on the importance of their collaboration in their career as a band, and sharing some personal experiences, both happy and sad, that had recently touched their lives. By night’s end, Lucius seemed to have achieved their goal—delivering an impactful performance in sound, style and sentiment. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK