There are no words I have for three-piece Los Angeles-based indie pop band LANY‘s live show.
“I think this is the loudest show we’ve ever played,” frontman Paul Klein said into the crowd of screaming girls Monday night at Sacramento’s all-ages Ace Of Spades.
Klein, with his loosely-kept brown locks, Michael Jackson-inspired black jacket and tight pants, was a dreamboy for sure — and I’m not just saying that because of the tween girl in front of me who squealed it out.
Without even putting out a full-length album, LANY has already managed to dominate their popularity over social media. Their throwback to ’80s pop sound matched with smooth R&B and sentimental lyrics about being young and in love resonates with fans all over the world.
The band opened with the energetic “yea, babe, no way” off last summer’s kinda EP, full of spacey synths and upbeat drumbeats provided by bandmates Jake Goss and Les Priest.
“It feels so good to be at a LANY show,” Klein said. The band just finished seven dates opening for John Mayer’s Search For Everything tour and were more than ready to kick off their US tour, right here in Sacramento.
Barely getting a chance to speak in-between all of the cheers, Klein took a moment to explain, “We’ve never been here before. I don’t know how we got here but thank you so much.”
Whipping his hair back and forth and changing between guitars and keys for songs like “Bad, Bad, Bad” and “like you lots,” Klein was visibly astonished. “This is crazy,” he managed to mutter, before sinking his face into his hands and nodding in disbelief as the crowd sang back every single lyric.
Amongst all of the squeals, hands in the air and the frontman’s swagger, the night felt like seeing a pop-punk band at Vans Warped Tour back in the late 2000s.
“I didn’t prepare anything, I had no idea what to expect,” he continued, “but we will come back, forever.”
Every song seemed to be a hit as the sing-alongs were rampant the entire night. Klein’s natural charisma onstage allowed the crowd to get into a groove while Priest’s synths and Goss’ drum skills created an infectious danceability in the room. It’s clear these guys know pop, but it’s clear they’re doing it in the way they know best.
Slower songs such as “Current Location” and “Someone Else” where Klein sings, “But I can’t move on, I’m sorry that I loved her first” highlight their unconcealed passion. With a single light beam, twinkly piano keys and synths, the moment felt straight out of a movie.
“She’s the only one, she’s the only one, I want,” Klein continued as the crowd swooned with hands in the air.
Some can argue that LANY’s songs are incredibly simple. Their songs about being young and in love are full of catchy beats and contagious grooves. But perhaps that’s their charm — their songs make you feel young and in love again, and you can’t get them out of your head.
Later into the night, the trio played popular love songs such as “Made In Hollywood” and “pink skies” — the song that made me fall in love with them in the first place. “Shut up I love you you’re my best friend,” Klein sang candidly. “Talking under pink skies I think our hearts are starting to show / That it’s better you and I under pink skies.”
Upbeat hit “WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS” got the whole room moving. It’s a groovy alt-pop anthem that describes the loneliness of being in a big city — and perhaps the loneliness young millennials feel everyday. Crowd-favorite “ILYSB” showcased Klein being swarmed by red roses onstage as he confessed, “Oh my heart hurts so good / I love you, babe, so bad.”
It’s been three years since LANY first shared their music with us and things only seem to be looking up. Even after just playing for one-hour to a room full of screams that almost drowned out Klein’s voice, the humility and sincerity in this band and their music shines.
It’s hard to find real good, honest pop out there. And I think LANY is nailing it.
LANY's self-titled debut album LANY (out June 30) is available to preorder on Amazon. Their past EPs kinda (2016), Make Out (2015) and I Loved You. (2015) are available to purchase as well.