Last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, two very different acts took the stage. First, singer/songwriter Frances Cone and her band graced the opening slot, playing their mixture of pop, blues and folk influenced tunes. One of the highlights of the night for me was hearing “Long Way Down” live, a horn-infused sweetly simple track that premiered on Pigeons and Planes back in May.
Another refreshing aspect was the number of times that Frances thanked Lucius for letting her open for them and how genuinely excited about their music she was. “We’ve got a couple more then lets all dance around to Lucius!” she laughed at one point during her set.
But Cone’s ability to command the crowd, even on slower, softer tempo songs was undeniable. With just a keyboard and her lush alto voice she deftly led her band through the Charleston-infused tunes off her debut album Come Back.
Lucius were a whole other beast, as they tend to be. The New York indie-pop group have long been known for the dual vocal stylings of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig who share the melody almost as often as they opt for harmonies.
The way that Laessig and Wolfe’s voices blend is astonishing, it’s rare to hear this kind of compatibility between two members of the same family, let alone totally unrelated people. Their energy and vivaciousness—only slightly subverted by their extreme matching—was one of the best parts of the show.
Another thing that Lucius knows how to do is make the entire experience part of their show. It wasn’t just the music that they focused on, but the energy in the room, interacting with the crowd, and an extensive visual backdrop. Two towers of white cubes flanking the two frontwomen were plastered with colorful, swiftly changing projections that added another aesthetic element to the show.
Finally, as a closing number for a show that celebrates the release of their forthcoming full-length on Mom + Pop, Wildewoman, the group performed a superbly pulled off mash-up of Grimes’ “Oblivion” and Little Dragon’s “Ritual Union.” Even attempting a musical feat of this caliber is ambitious, but actually delivering on the performance—as they did—is even more impressive.
Lucius are a band that have been patiently honing their unique take on what a band looks like in 2013, and according to the sold-out crowd and their recent signing, their vision is catching.
Words by: Caitlin White