5.26.2013

Concert Review: Lydia

Foreword: Solely for lack of a better idea, I've decided to start writing posts about the various shows I've attended since moving to Seattle. I'm mainly doing this because I hardly ever got to go to any good shows while I was at school in Texas. I've been privileged to see all kinds of bands I never thought I'd get the chance to see. Some of them were great, a few were disappointing, some of them blew my mind. 

Anyways, I thought it would be cool to document these experiences (not all of them are really worth writing about). I won't retell every second of the show or talk much about the other bands. I'll mainly mention the highlights after a brief note on how I was introduced to the band in question. Maybe I'll turn a few people onto some bands I enjoy; maybe fellow music fans will just like it for the content. Either way, it's mostly a personal thing. Hope it's not a waste of time.


LYDIA - 4/21/2012 @ Chop Suey
w/Sweet Talker, From Indian Lakes, and some crappy local band.

The old lineup. 

I've enjoyed Lydia for a number of years, since their 2008 release Illuminate. I remember downloading  it illegally from Rhapsody and it was really crappy quality. It didn't keep me from loving it any less, namely the second track "A Fine Evening For A Rogue". This song made me fall in love with Lydia. 

A Fine Evening For A Rogue

The band went through a tumultuous couple of years. Mindy White, their background vocalist and keyboard player, left the band to start her own project with a few ex-members of Copeland, called States. It was enjoyable, but in no way related to Lydia. Then the band announced it would be calling it quits and embarked on a massive farewell tour, which I wasn't able to attend because I was withering away in Texas.

Mindy White's new project.

Like all good bands, they returned in 2011 with a new album, Paint it Golden. It had a different feel to it, but any Lydia was better than no Lydia (not always the case with some bands). Leighton Antelman, the voice of the band, also started an electronic side project called The Cinema, releasing his debut album My Blood is Full of Airplanes the same year. Needless to say, it was a good year for Lydia fans.

With the release of this year's Devil, Lydia went on a headlining tour to promote the new album. They stopped in Seattle so OF COURSE I had to catch them.

Not gonna lie, not my favorite album art.

After a couple of pretty good opening acts - From Indian Lakes caught me off guard in particular - Lydia took the stage, to much fanfare from pretty much every girl in the room. Most of them were ignorantly trying to guess which of the guys setting up instruments and sound checking was Leighton.  Of course, when a dude walked out barefoot with his acoustic guitar, it was pretty obvious who it was.

They began with "This is Twice Now" - the opening song from Illuminate; consequently, the first Lydia song I ever heard. This was followed by "The Exit", the opening track from their new album. It was one of the four songs I got a video of, which I probably won't upload because they're pretty crappy quality. The setlist was a perfect combination of old and new, and pretty much every girl knew all of the words.

Link to setlist from the Devil tour.

It was a fantastic show. I think it was the only show I've ever went to where the vocalist was smiling the entire time. Seriously, Leighton didn't stop smiling the whole show, through every song. The ladies loved it. I kid you not, every single girl and probably half of the guys in that room were in love with him. I was right up in the front (stage right) and the gasps and cooing all around me were practically suffocating. Who can blame them, I guess:

I'll allow it.

Highlights - Leighton singing "Always Move Fast" alone on stage, just him and his acoustic guitar. Of course, when they performed "A Fine Evening For A Rogue" for their last song, I was the one who couldn't stop smiling. They concluded with a mighty performance of "Hospital" for their encore, to a crowd who sang every word, and loudly.

Lowlights - the girls were pretty obnoxious, in all seriousness. In particular, there were a couple of loud blonde girls dead center in the front, who were flirting with the sound guys and yelling over everyone else every time Leighton addressed the crowd. After the show, I saw one them try to sneak into the bar only to be denied by security. It was sweet justice. Oh, and the band before Lydia (still don't remember their name) was pretty terrible. Like, didn't belong on the same STAGE as Lydia sort of terrible.

Other than that, it was perfect. I thought about sticking around to meet the band but realized every woman in there would be trying to get in Leighton's pants so I ducked out of there after grabbing a shirt. Always have to get my shirts.

Lydia lived up to my expectations for a live performance for sure. I'd encourage you guys to check out some of the tracks I've listed here. If you like Copeland, Deas Vail, or Mae, these guys might be right up your alley.

Until the next show,

JDS

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