The past couple years of my life have found me becoming completely enamored with electronica/dance/synth-y music, and I find that I like it more and more as time goes on. Dubstep, anyone? One of my favorite electronic artists is known as Lights (Valerie Poxleitner), a 25-year old Canadian musician/absolute doll. Lights is kind of a unicorn. Crazy gorgeous and teeny-tiny, a self-proclaimed Worlds of Warcraft addict, and a helluva talented musician. Hate all you want on computer-generated music, but Lights is much more than that. She writes all of her own stuff, and most of her tracks have alternate acoustic versions – you know, with actual instruments, that she plays. Her music videos are something else – earlier in her career, they were like, outer space sagas (no lie), and now they’re much more stripped down (out in the desert, roaming around, as you do) and properly produced, but I think she’s a unique voice and presence in a sea of pop annoyances.
A few weeks ago, I saw her in concert for the third time, at a small-ish bar in the armpit of America. This is the second time I’ve seen her in this exact establishment, and it’s becoming a must-see for me, as the place only holds a few hundred people, is SMALL, and cheap. She puts on a good show, which is something I find is not usually the case in the arena of electronic music. A looooooooooooooooot of the synthy goodness can tend to be lost in translation. While I had a hard time seeing the stage from my viewpoint (as evidenced by these vids I posted), I know there were drums, guitars, and keys up there. You know, real instruments.
The crowd for a Lights show continues to fascinate me. She has a HUGE male following. I don’t know if it’s how hot she is, her nerd-cred, or what, but I’m always surrounded by loads of boy hipsters belting out her lyrics. It would be endearing, except they kind of smell bad. :/ The age of the crowd ranged from pre-teen to mid 40s; I’d say the average attendee was in their early 20s.
I have to mention that the opening act was a band called The Ambassadors, and they were excellent. I only caught 2 or 3 songs, but I was captivated and kept asking my cohorts, “WHO IS THIS?!!!”
The set was mostly from her newest album, Siberia, which is much less pop and much more electronic (and darker) than her previous effort, The Listening (one of my favorite albums, pretty much ever). I thought the new stuff sounded great, although my heart belongs to her first album. The strobes and colored lights were flashing and the crowd was singing along to almost everything – here are my highlights:
“Ice”, from her first album; people love the shit out of this one. I’m always near guys who belt out the rap-like bridge in its entirety. (Sorry my videos kind of suck.:()
“Everybody Breaks A Glass” is one of my favorite tracks off of Siberia… it rocks a lot harder than you’d initially think.
And finally, “Toes”, another of my favorite tracks from her newest album. I really hate feet, but I find this song to be irresistible.
A great time was had by all, except for the awkwardness I experienced by realizing I was standing in front of my (super-HOT Luke Wilson look-alike) gynecologist, who I’m pretty sure recognized me, and was with his wife and daughters. Oy. After the show, we tried to stand in the alley that doubles as the entrance, where her tour bus was, hoping for an autograph. Unfortunately, everything promptly went to hell in a handbasket. The lead guitarist of The Ambassadors was climbing over a fence to help load equipment and semi-impaled himself. He’s doing okay now (according to their twitter feed he has been in the hospital for a while but is finally doing better), but there was a lot of blood and he asked for 911 to be called – at the same instant, two guys carried a half-blacked out chick through said alleyway to a waiting cab, and we all got to watch as she yacked her guts out. “We’ll hang her head out the window, man” is the only solace that poor cabby got. As this club is walking distance to 3 different hospitals, I was surprised it took almost 6 minutes or so for an ambulance to arrive, but in this time, the security guys came out to SCREAM THE F WORD AT EVERYONE to get out of the way. I mean, it’s a small alley, but 75% of the people standing (including us) were in a side parking lot, not standing directly in the alley. And there was another band going to go on in about 20 mins or so, so it’s not like the place was closing. This ASSHOLE was like, “GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!! ALL OF YOU!!” And I mean, this is like, the main entrance of the building. It’s not like we were doing ANYTHING TO HINDER THE AMBULANCE. I wanted to punch that dude. Especially because about an hour later, Lights DID come out to sign stuff for her fans.
All in all, aside from feeling the gyno shadow behind me and Saw-like experience of the biohazard alley as we were forced to leave, it was a fun night.
Set List: Banner, Fourth Dimension, Ice, My Boots, River, Flux & Flow, Everybody Breaks A Glass, Face Up, Siberia, The Last Thing On Your Mind, Suspension, Where the Fence Is Low, Toes