Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dubstep Canadian ElectroPop. Obviously.

Lights at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA, October 18, 2011.

A frantic phone call last Monday night from a friend looking for a concert buddy lead to yet another Lights concert at the Middle East. It was the first night of her Siberia tour, an album which I just haven't listened to yet. We missed the opening act, as the Middle East set a hard 8:30 curfew in order to get the Throwed crowd in, and there was no way that 6:00 doors could get the full 400 people downstairs before a 6:15 set. I don't understand why they couldn't have just opened the doors a little earlier, but alas.

I've stopped being surprised by the amount of bros at her shows. Not just guys, and not indie guys, but frat bros, dudes who have no place watching a tiny Canadian girl play synth pop. And they're not just standing there with a beer. Oh no, they are belting out every word. I chalk it up to them being able to use her crazy hair and nerd tattoos as a cover for their actual love of tiny pop music.

I'm also a huge fan of loud shows. Sounds that make your sternum shudder and shake, from jet engines to bass lines, are my absolute favorite. But Lights has recently dipped her toes into Dubstep and I thought my eardrums were going to bleed. My sternum was shaking, sure, but so was my clothing and my hair and my throat. Honest to God, the group of people I was standing around with were all marveling to each other about the fact that our throats were shaking. It was uncomfortably loud, and drowned out any hope of music with pure volume and noise.

But it was still fun. Lights is bouncy and has an absolutely amazing voice, so when the set turned down a softer acoustic path we were all immensely happier to be able to hear her voice and the music. The stand out song for me, however, was probably "Toes." The chorus flows down, visually and sonically, gorgeously. The lyrics are pretty key as well. I hadn't connected to it well before seeing it live, but after watching her perform it I've been persuaded to go out and find the album.

So her music's a little (a lot) louder now, with a heavier hip hop and dubstep back, but it's still got her own brand of wit and humor and fun. Sure, I felt the lack of "February Air" in the set, and it was a completely different feel to the last time I saw her at the Middle East, but it's an evolution that I can totally dig.

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