LANY engages crowd

Photo by Mitch Williams

On Friday, Oct. 6, patrons at the elegant Buckhead Theatre initially complained of blasting subzero air. The chilly venue soon warmed with the electric energy of LANY. With a self-titled album out June 30 this year, the night was filled with the new songs and, of course, old favorites from the Los Angeles-based “dreamy indie pop” trio.

Before the band arrived onstage in a totally darkened theatre, the music slowly built while the giddy audience began chanting the band’s name at a deafening volume. To their great satisfaction, the drummer, Jake Goss, sauntered onstage and beat out a few notes. He was followed by the guitarist, Les Priest, and finally, the lead singer, Paul Klein.

Breaking into their first song, “Dumb Stuff,” Klein danced animatedly around the stage, and the crowd fed into the energy with reciprocal enthusiasm. As they did during every other song that night, the viewers demonstrated their genuine fanaticism by singing — rather, shrieking — every word right alongside Klein.

Multiple times throughout the night, Klein was forced to step back and smile as the crowd finished his own lyrics for him, bowing his head appreciatively, unable to articulate his gratitude. “Atlanta, you are the absolute greatest!” he called midway through the show to the bellowing fans.

By the third song, “yea, babe, no way,” Jake Goss, the drummer, had already taken off his shirt, thumping out the beats while Klein’s long hair trailed over his face. Excitedly, Klein asked how many were attending their first LANY concert that night, and the vast majority of the audience yelled confirmation.

A few songs later, Klein decided that his jam sessions on the keyboard and dance sessions during Priest’s guitar solos were not energetic enough, so he did the iconic rock star move: he
crowd surfed.

Still delivering the chorus of “Made In Hollywood,” he stretched out on the bobbing, roaring crowd as waves of renewed screams passed through the audience. Somehow, he returned safely to the stage to transition into “It Was Love,” a performance topped off with wild strobe lights and an intense drum solo from Goss.

In the latter half of the concert, Klein bridged into one of his slower pieces, “current location,” and gave the most powerful performance of the night. After tying back his hair, stripping down the music and fading out the swirling red and purple lights, he sat in a single stream of white light.

The lone figure at his keyboard delivered emotional lyrics with devastating simplicity: “I need my current location / to be your current location. / Fly back to me.” Appropriately responsive, the fans settled down, swaying and murmuring the lyrics with him.

The mood shifted back quickly and naturally, swinging to the more upbeat “pink skies” and washing the stage in bright fuchsia lights. Continuing the liveliness, LANY then closed the official setlist with “Hericane,” a song similar to Harry Styles’s “Sign of the Times” with a serious meaning and thrilling buildup.

The crowd started chanting for LANY’s return before the band had even fully exited the stage. Less than two minutes later, the band members returned to perform their two biggest hits.

With an array of soft rainbow-colored screens and lights, their most recent single “Super Far” was the most visually pleasing performance of the night. Klein dabbed on the beat, triggering widespread laughter. Then he grabbed a fan’s phone and continued filming with it as he performed on stage.

Maintaining the wild energy in the song that put them on the map, “ILYSB” (short for “I Love You So Bad”), LANY delivered a final performance that exceeded all expectations. Klein climbed on the drum set and jumped off perfectly in time with the final beat drop.

Overall, the evening was an impressive display of not only a clearly talented band but also a passionate fanbase. Few other concerts turn floodlights on the audience nearly as often as was done in LANY’s show, and rarely do other performers interact so fluidly or frequently with their audience. In nearly every song, Klein bent to touch hands, gave and received roses or thanked the enraptured crowd.

Despite the almost total darkness during song transitions and the bass that sometimes overpowered the vocals, the audience and the band united to create an awe-inspiring evening of mutual appreciation.

In explaining their name, LANY hoped their music would spread from their home of Los Angeles (LA) all the way to New York (NY). While their reach in the Big Apple is undetermined, Atlanta has certainly embraced the West coasters with full force.