“As many you might know, we’re obsessed with space -- we’re like a team on a spaceship,” Lake Street Dive frontwoman Rachael Price said onstage in front a sold-out crowd at Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night before segueing into their “intergalactic love song” “Hang On.” The show was the third stop on their tour since releasing their new album Free Yourself Up on May 4, and the group looked energized for a six-month string shows across the U.S.
Lake Street Dive has developed somewhat a cult following since breaking onto Billboard’s charts in 2012. At the beginning the show, Price asked the crowd if they’d been to one their shows before, and virtually every hand shot up in the air. The five-piece group opened with the first track f Free Yourself Up, “Baby, Don’t Leave Me Alone With My Thoughts,” a tune that, despite its fun and bubbly nature, is about a person struggling to make sense the current political climate. In an interview with DigBoston, Price said, “It’s Lake Street Dive to a T -- we’re trying to make people groove, but at the same time, we wanted to introduce the fact that we have more things to talk about than breakups.”
At showtime on Thursday, Free Yourself Up had only been on the shelves for six days, but the audience still knew every word. “Thank you all for doing your homework,” Price said. The album is slated to debut in the top 20 the Billboard 200 next week, with early numbers showing it could be their biggest debut to date.
Throughout the show, Lake Street Dive weaved throughout their catalog, playing all 10 tracks from Free Yourself Up, plus cuts from their previous two LPs, 2016’s Side Pony and 2014’s Bad Self Portraits. Both sets reached the top five the Top Rock Albums chart and the top 30 the Billboard 200.
Lake Street Dive was originally a four-piece group, made up Price, Bridget Kearney on the upright bass, Mike Calabrese on drums and Mike “McDuck” Olson on guitar and trumpet, but the quartet added a fifth member to its ranks -- Akie Bermiss on keyboard -- before embarking on their tour.
One the standout moments the show was when Price introduced Bermiss midway through their set. She added that he’s more than just a keyboardist: He’s also a singer. Bermiss then performed an impressive and enthralling, soul-meets-R&B cover Shania Twain’s 1997 former No. 2 Hot 100 hit “You’re Still the One,” a staple in Bermiss’ solo performances. Price provided backup vocals and Kearney, Calabrese and Olson played behind him. The crowd was floored.
Later, they eased into the lead single from the album, “Good Kisser.” The track reached No. 16 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart (dated April 28), their highest-charting song to date, and currently stands at No. 18.
Free Yourself Up is largely political, tackling how the group has changed since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The group closed the show with one the most memorable tracks from the album, “Shame, Shame, Shame,” which points directly at this notion. In a video with Paste magazine, Kearney said the song “is a departure for us. We’re looking at what’s going on in the world.” The song ends on a hopeful note, though, with Price singing "change is coming, ain't no holding it back."
When they returned to the stage for their encore, they first played their 2014 release “What I’m Doing Here,” then closed with their fan-favorite Hall & Oates cover “Rich Girl,” from their 2012 EP Fun Machine.
Check out the full set list below:
“Baby, Don’t Leave Me Alone with My Thoughts” “You Are Free” “I Don’t Care About You” “Red Light Kisses” “Better Than” Bobby Tanqueray medley (“Bobby Tanqueray,” “Spectacular Failure,” “Doesn’t Even Matter Now”) “Call Off Your Dogs” “Hang On” “I Can Change” “You’re Still the One” (Akie Bermiss covering Shania Twain) “Bad Self Portraits” “Good Kisser” “You Go Down Smooth” “Musta Been Something” “Dude” “Seventeen” “Shame, Shame, Shame” “What I’m Doing Here” (encore) “Rich Girl” (encore)