Chicago – L.A. trio LANY played two back-to-back shows at the House of Blues in Chicago, supporting Troye Sivan on the Blue Neighbourhood Tour. Best New Bands was at the second sold-out show on Tuesday night, to catch LANY – our Featured Artist – perform for a packed room, full of screaming fans. Although Paul Klein, Les Priest, and Jake Goss were performing in the opening slot, there were still plenty of LANY fans in attendance, singing along and showing love and support to the indie-pop band that has begun to build a loyal fan base around the world.
Immediately frontman Paul Klein got the crowd going, flashing his warm smile, waving his hands in the air, and dancing around stage. He’d eventually jump off the stage and climb the barricade, leaning into the arms of fans, singing, and locking eyes with people up front. Squeals filled the room as fans went wild watching Klein dash along the edge of the stage, high-fiving raised hands along the way.
A calm spread when LANY broke into “Someone Else.” Klein gently sang into his mic. His long, wet hair covered his face. People swayed back and forth. Halfway through the set, Klein took a moment to thank audience members for their energy. Girls screamed. He then introduced the band. Jake Goss blushed behind his drum kit. Les Priest smiled as Klein said, “Les got a new tattoo today.” Klein egged Priest to give the room a peek. Priest pulled up his sleeve and flexed, showing off the fresh ink.
During “Made in Hollywood,” Klein got down on his knees while playing keys. He sang, “Turn off the lights, come and lay with me / Write your name on my hand, just like we’re seventeen.” The scores of teenagers in the House of Blues erupted, causing cheers to echo throughout the main floor, up to the balcony. Again Klein jumped into the pit, singing to a group of girls, who squealed and shook in excitement. Klein made his way back on stage and jumped atop Goss’ drum kit. He stood on the bass drum, singing and clapping his hands. Then he jumped off, leaping high into the air, to even more screams and applause. Afterward, Klein again gushed about how amazing the people of Chicago are. He asserted, “I say everything you love about New York City, minus everything you hate about New York City, equals Chicago. Basically, you’re better than New York!” The audience screamed in approval. He then joked about how he made that up and “if anyone steals it, I’ll be mad.”
I watched fans clap along to “4Ever!” from the EP I Loved You. Smiles spread. Eyes focused on Klein. It was more than apparent Klein knows how to work a room. He has fantastic stage presence. He also knows how to make fans and friends feel loved. He gushed about how grateful LANY is to Troye Sivan, exclaiming, “We love Troye Sivan!” Troye was at LANY’s first show in Hollywood. Klein smiled and said, “He’s been there from the beginning.” Then the band fittingly broke into “ILYSB,” off the Make Out EP.
LANY ended the night with “I Don’t Care,” which is about “all those people who talked really bad things about you.” LANY put on a wonderful performance. The sound was extremely tight. The trio was well rehearsed. Most importantly though, LANY was entertaining.
LANY is currently on tour. A full list of LANY’s tour dates can be found on Facebook, including the U.K. arena tour with Ellie Goulding and the upcoming Make Out Tour. Make Out and I Loved You. are available for purchase on iTunes.
After attending The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Sarah went on to study education at Dominican University, earning a degree in history. When not teaching, writing, or taking in a show, she is most likely to be found with a camera to her eye or hanging out in a darkroom.
You can follow Sarah Hess on twitter at @Sarahhasanh and view her music photography on her website: smhimaging.com.