9-30-14 Lights plays Pinktober at Hard Rock Cafe for Breast Cancer Awareness

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If Llana Del Rey is the Queen of Darkness and Robyn is the European Queen of Ice, Lights is the Princess of Day! As soon as Lights was onstage at Hard Rock Cafe (I didn’t realize they had a nice stage) it was “Muscle Memory” and we got energized. Next, there was “Running with the Boys” and right after Lights told us “That’s the first time I’ve heard people singing along to one of my songs.” I can see why they’re doing it. Her music is bubbly synth dance pop that makes you feel good. It’s like a happy combination of Llana Del Rey, Robyn, Ellie Goulding and cool synth pop/rock with a touch of M83. Lights’ wide toothy smile, while reminding me of a Disney TV star, is also… well, friendly and charming. And her performance tonight was done with love. And that always means something. You can’t help but like her.

*Be sure to check out my photos at the end of the review…

Her connection with her mostly female college student fans (at this point) was really apparent from the outset, with people asking after her cat and her husband Beau! And they were calling out song requests. Talk about loyal fans. And rather than being a snobbish star drunk on sudden success, Lights was really friendly and talked to the audience. During a break in the set she spoke about how cancer is so hard on families and we need to find a cure.

I got the sense this was Lights’ first Major NYC show (according to one fan this was her first show in NYC in two years!). She looked really excited on the red carpet and on the stage performing. And that excitement was contagious. After she played “Banner” she seemed to realize she’s really on the rise (she’s about to go on tour to support her new album Little Machines). She told us “This is so much fun. I’m having so much fun – too much fun!” and put her hands to her face, like she wanted to be sure she wasn’t dreaming. Then she continued with the slower “Don’t Leave Home without Me” which she told us she wrote in Mexico during an introspective week with a guilty admittance that she also binge-watched all of Breaking Bad, but “…I got a lot of writing done.”

After that, she quietly thanked the audience, put her hands together in prayer and bowed. Then she thanked us again and left the stage. I think everyone was surprised by how suddenly the concert ended. We’d all been promised free CDs and that Lights would sign them after the show. But people were confused and stood around waiting for more.

But what this awkward moment signaled to me was that I had just caught the first show from an artist who’s about to get really big. Things are streamlined yet and she’s not jaded by the music machine. But she’s poised for mainstream success and I think everyone tonight realized that, by the end of the show. She has that winning combination of being happy, friendly, unguarded and talented too. It’s nice to see someone like that getting successful, I hope she has an amazing tour. If you want to check her out, I recommend catching one of her concerts as she shines live.

Set List (thanks to Stephanie at Lights-Love.com):
Muscle Memory
Running with the Boys
Oil & Water
Up We Go
Banner
Don’t Go Home without Me

 

I was invited to this show by Light’s PR firm Warner Brothers and was really pleased I got to go! Take a listen and see what you think!

-The Wandering Humorist

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Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Barbaro. All rights reserved.

Posted October 1, 2014 by Gabriel in category "Concert Reviews", "Digital Photography", "Photography