Rachael Price told the crowd, “The wind is making me eat my hair. I’d appreciate it if anyone has a hairband that matches my outfit.” A few minutes later someone from the audience appeared with one that matched the lead singer’s ensemble. Wind and rain didn’t stop Lake Street Dive (named for a street with numerous dive bars) from performing their blue-eyed soul music for the sold out Dillon Amphitheater. However, nearby lightning did delay the music. The Brooklyn based band quickly left the stage and everyone in the audience questioned if they should take shelter. After about ten minutes, the musicians returned and the party went into full swing.
Bridget Kearney played a remarkable jazzy standup bass introduction to Daryl from their latest EP Freak Yourself Out. The band joined in letting Mike Olson’s trumpet playing turn it into a funk number. Drummer Mike Calabrese showcased his top-hat symbol skills while Price worked her vocal magic. The lead singer’s voice has the growl of the blues mixed with the smoothness of jazz.
The biggest surprise of the night was from their newest band member keyboardist Akie Bermiss. Standing out with his long dreadlocks and stylish bow tie, Bermiss took over vocal duties covering Steely Dan’s Dirty Work. It got the crowd singing-a-long to the 1972 classic. I don’t know if the young drunk people in the crowd even knew it was a cover.
The entire band gathered around one microphone to sing a trilogy of covers making them their own: The Kink’s Stranger, Sly & The Family Stone’s Everyday People, and The Staples Singers Just a Soldier (Price confessed to the crowd that Mavis Staples taught the band the gospel song).
I noticed the most popular item at the merch booth was a t-shirt that said Good Kisser. It’s the title of one of Lake Street Dive’s most popular songs about a plea before a breakup. “If you’re gonna tell them everything/Tell ’em I’m a good kisser/Tell ’em all the things you told me/In your desperate whisper.” The crowd went wild when it was performed especially for the ones wearing their newly purchased concert memento. The encore was a mash up of Hall and Oates’ Rich Girl and their own song Side Pony named after Kearney’s main choice of hairstyle. I predict a song about a borrowed hairband on the next album.
Before the weather turned, the woman from Bristol, England who impressed everyone at last weekend’s Newport Folk Festival warmed up the crowd. Yola (born Yolanda Quatey) commanded the stage wearing a bright orange dress rocking bigger than life hair. Yola mostly played songs from her debut full-length album Walk Through Fire about a devastating fire that damaged her home. It was recorded in Nashville,TN and produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. The country-soul themed tracks won the crowd over quickly. But her cover of Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road inspired many in the audience to meet her. After my friend got Yola to sign her album, he adored her even more.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one prepared for the wind with my headband.