lovelytheband lights up Lincoln Hall

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lovelytheband lights up Lincoln Hall

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I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the door to the hazy, moody and intimate concert venue at Lincoln Hall to see a band I had never heard of before. It was Oct. 20, the night of the performance of an up-and-coming indie-pop band, appropriately named lovelytheband. Two hours later I was sold on the message of the band and I was aware of what had motivated a sold-out audience to come see the show in person.

The band, made up of vocalist Mitchy Collins, guitarist Jordan Greenwald and drummer Sam Price, has come a long way from their small beginnings when they debuted earlier in 2017 with their single “broken.” That was followed by their EP “everything I could never say…” in September of that year. I saw the band at the tail-end of their Broken Like Me tour, which took their debut album “finding it hard to smile” on the road in North America in 2018.

The band was formed when Collins met Greenwald at a bar in Los Angeles in 2016. Price made the duo a trio soon after when he met Collins through Instagram and got together for Chinese food. “Everything was better after the Chinese food,” Collins said. Their musical identity has taken a candid tone, and their performance put it all out on display for their audience, holding nothing back. It was vulnerable, dynamic and pure energy.

The energy that they put out was exactly reciprocated by their fans, and even those who were just reluctantly brought out by their friends were certainly under the band’s influence by the end of the show.

They opened the concert with the first, and titular, song off their album. The song, an ambient, electronic-tinged guitar ballad lead the way into “pity party,” the next song chronologically on the album, and then “make you feel pretty after that.” Their opening three songs really set the mood for the whole concert. “Pity party” and “make you feel pretty” both seem like cuts off an MGMT, Foster the People or BORNS album, all contemporary indie-pop outfits. Still, their obvious inspirations never inhibit their identity.

Let me also take a moment to say how I adored their energy and interactions on stage: Collins commanded the stage with a tacit resoluteness and determination. Price’s piercing gaze from the drum set on the right side of the stage looked up to Collins with a ferocity I’ve never seen from a drummer. For an electronic-sounding group, I appreciated the energy and time spent on Price’s drum solos and licks throughout the show. Greenwald mastered the guitar on the left side of the stage, and even though he seemed detached from directly interacting with the group, almost lost in his own world, everyone in the audience could feel his energy in sync with the rest of the band. For only having been together for a little over a year, their togetherness and experience were well beyond my expectations.

The next three songs were taken from the latter half of their album, and continued the groove of the concert, but fans were disappointed when their song “coachella,” as Collins had pointed out, marked the halfway point of the concert. The next song slowed down the fast pace of the concert for a building, reflective and reverb-heavy acoustic love song with some synth refrains spiced in. This was heavily contrasted with a huge change in tone with a cover of “Pony” by Ginuwine.

The final four songs of the concert, before the encore, were “don’t worry, you will,” the bouncy, bass-heavy, 70’s throwback “walk from here,” “maybe, I’m afraid,” and finally their biggest song, “broken,” whose synth melodies seem almost directly out of an MGMT hit. Collins was very honest about the fact that they would come back out for an encore, skipping the convention that bands would make their audience work for it – clearly the audience had already earned it. When they came back on, they played “two-and-a-half more songs,” as they put it: “filling a void (interlude),” “everything I could never say… to you,” and “these are my friends.”  It was fitting to end with “these are my friends.” Just before playing it, Collins asked the audience to grab a friend who they came with or who they met and to dance to this song. By the end of the song, and the concert, everyone’s communal experience had made us all friends, in some way, because we had all just experienced it. With the band. In person. This concert truly reminded me why concerts are such a cathartic, human experience, and I have lovelytheband to thank for that.