Live review: LANY @ O2 Academy Liverpool, 19/06/18
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Stopping in Liverpool as part of their ‘Europe week’, Paul Klein and co. brought their self-proclaimed ‘rose era’ to an excitable O2 Academy. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, LANY boast three EPs and a 2017 debut album to their name, the latter of which has been performed with ongoing energy in a relentless tour schedule that has seen the band travel the world exhibiting their sun-drenched indie-pop sounds. Unlike other major UK cities, Liverpool had not previously made it onto LANY’s radar – however, the cities luck changed on 19 June, with the three-piece Californian ‘heartthrobs’ filling the 1,200-capacity venue wall to wall.
India Fleming PhotographyThere was no better fitting song to accompany the band on stage than ‘Dumb Stuff’, the first track from the self-titled debut LP. Ambient sounds of rain began to pour before Jake Goss (drummer) and Les Priest (keyboardist) took their position seconds before Paul Klein burst onto stage sporting a Liverpool FC jersey. The crowd belted the opening lyrics “oh my god, I think I’m in love” – immediately setting the tone for the rest of the night as this two-and-a-half-minute track invited flowers to be thrown on stage whilst building an endless energy from fans both old and young. Whilst showcasing almost the entirety of their full-length album, LANY’s set contained highlights from the previously released EPs as the set continued with ‘4EVER!’ and ‘yea babe no way’. The older favourites definitely made the grade for the live show, with the entire set being backed by colourful led screens, each song generating a new backlight. After reverting to album tracks ‘Flowers on the Floor’ and ‘Overtime’, Paul Klein addressed the crowd confessing “the last time we played here was with Ellie Goulding and they spelled our name wrong on the poster. After the show, I cried on the treadmill”. The crowd showed a sympathetic humour, but they were no stranger to LANY when hearing fan favourite ‘Good Girls’. This sunshine-injected track notably shined in the live setting, with Paul jumping, running and moving across the stage in line with the dancing crowd. This energy extended into ‘Made in Hollywood’, where the frontman jumped onto the barrier to be held above the crowd as they unitedly sang. LANY’s appeal is perhaps it's tailoring towards the millennial generation, seducing the ears of its eager audience with love song after love song – and although sappy at times, Klein’s cool-guy persona was nothing but loveable.
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India Fleming PhotographyThe set continued with several sentimental tracks including: ‘It Was Love’, ‘Hurts’, and ‘13’ – yet rather than offering reminisce, it was clear to see fans were giving back just as much as the band was giving to them. With digital alarm clocks being replicated on the LED background, ‘Tampa’ seemed like an autobiographical insight to the monologue of Klein’s mind, being given a new lease of life as an emotive ballad. ‘WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS’ oozed an infectious stage presence to prove there were hundreds of devoted fans in attendance. With a 21-song setlist to contend with, conversation with minimal between songs to make for a carefree, ‘music is all that matters’ atmosphere. Rather than using the spotlight the preach social politics, as some artists do, Klein brought a touch of California to the north-west of England whilst claiming Liverpool was “a beautiful surprise”. Paying homage to the city’s establishment of The Beatles, an interlude-esque rendition of ‘Let it Be’ was played on the keyboard before merging with the chorus of LANY’s own ‘current location’. Subsequently, the prodigious ‘pink skies’, taken from the kinda EP, was met with a roar of approval before the first lyric of the sunset serenade was even sung. The deeply personal ‘Hericane’ was a fitting but sombre conclusion to the band’s set. Bathed in a red glow, the O2 academy cried out “I love you still, I always will, but you’re the one in the wrong”. The song undoubtedly saw LANY in their most vulnerable state yet; concluding the night with the blending of young love and the unavoidable troubles that come with it. Long-time fans were treated to singles ‘Super Far’ and ‘ILYSB’ in an encore that felt more like a karaoke-style sing-along. The latter oozed nostalgia as the track in which LANY gained the attention of many following its release in 2015 – documenting the beginnings of a band that uploaded music to an empty SoundCloud account. In a short time, LANY have created something incredibly special both on and off stage; building themselves from the ground up with no radio play and little exposition. Instead, a (once) small but committed group of fans are at the roots of their success as the trio bring their sun-kissed Californian pop to the world stage. The groups luminously produced visual show alongside a stage of scattered roses speaks volumes about their success; which shows no signs of stopping.
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