Lucius - Music Hall of Williamsburg - 8/14/13
Better than: The silly Katy Perry/Lady Gaga feud.
"She's gonna find her way back home," sings Holly and Jess, the lead singers of the Brooklyn-bred band Lucius, in perfect unison on the aptly titled song "Wildewoman." It's the titular song off their upcoming full-length album and it arrived early in the set after being dedicated to all "the ladies out there." Like the portrait of a wildewoman the lyrics paint, the ladies of Lucius are strong and unyielding and, most importantly, found their way back home.
See also: It Takes A Lot To Get Lucius Down
The sold out Music Hall of Williamsburg date for Lucius carried the glory of a homecoming and the tenderness of a reunion. Packed into an hour-long set were songs from their self-titled EP and the soon-to-be-released debut album that carries the previous release's weighty torch. Overlapping an ol' fashioned twangy country heartbreak from the schools of Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn with '60s pop harmonies and beats, art lives in pop culture, as Lady Gaga would say, through the band's use of neon mod lights and graphics against stacked, white boxes and the matching black-and-white outfits they all adorned.
Though the visuals fit much better with the poppier components of their music, Lucius really only needs the blissful harmonization of its lead singers to help deliver the tales of scorned lovers accented by wise adages and observations in a type of bourbon-soaked, powerhouse way that was made to be performed in the Grand Ole Opry or on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Songs like "Don't Just Sit There" and the hauntingly molten "Two of Us on the Run" became massive in a live setting as the voices of Holly and Jess threaded together perfectly.
Something about Lucius' fire works better live. It gives more space for the crystalline vocal talents of the singers to breathe and fill the room and the band's extraordinary musicians to energize their parts even more than can be heard on record. Watching the band move in a nearly singular way, as well, adds to the illusion of oneness Lucius attempts to create. Several moments throughout a live performance from the group may lead you to believe that they have fully succeeded.
After ending the main set with infectious and alluring "Turn It Around," Lucius came back for a brief encore filled with thankfulness for the fans and pleas to continue supporting live music. A chilling and room filling rendition of "How Loud Your Heart Gets" lifted and transcended high above the rest of an already magical performance. Before they departed, a final dedication was made to even more ladies. This time, the group presented "an homage to all the amazing women making music" as Holly and Jess left their upstage positions to stand elevated against the stacks of white boxes as more colorful visuals drenched the stage and its occupants. The homage in question was perfect mash-up of Grimes' "Oblivion" with Little Dragon's "Ritual Union." But like the original declaration of "Wildewoman" belonging to the general women of the audience, the final message carried something much heavier and felt like a final, cleansing moment of female solidarity. With that and a singular time in which the singers did not sing the same lyrics simultaneously, Lucius actually did succeed in combining sound to create oneness.
Critical Bias:Classic country music and '60s pop are two of my favorite things.
Overheard: "I'm just, like, really shocked they actually covered Grimes tonight."
Random Notebook Dump: Lucius may have had one of the most emotionally overwhelmed crowds I've ever seen, and that's after attending a One Direction concert.
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