Lake Street Dive, with Darlingside opening, Aug. 24 at Meijer Gardens amphitheater.
Lake Street Dive is a band of a multitude of musical styles and a sound much bigger than its lean four-member lineup would suggest – and the Brooklyn-based band’s choice of covers included as part of its nearly two-hour, 21-song set Wednesday was clear evidence of both. From a fun-filled, mostly loyal-to-the-original version of the Kinks “Lola”, to Prince’s “When You Were Mine” – a soulful version with a great standup base solo intro by Bridget Kearney, to an encore closing blast of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Lake Street Dive and most especially lead singer Rachel Price showed off their versatility. Among the highlights of the band’s original songs were a bluesy/gospel sounding “Godawful Things” as their opening number, “Mistakes” with Michael Olson stepping away from his guitar to his trumpet, and the soulful “Rental Love” – the first two off the band’s great 2016 release Side Pony and the last off 2014’s Bad Self Portraits.
May I have more, please?
Another great example of the multitude of musical styles the audience at Meijer Gardens was witness to was a surprising, might I say stunning, opening eight-song, 45-minute opening set by Massachusetts-based quartet Darlingside.
Described by NPR as bringing a “baroque folk-pop” sound – and I can do no better for definition – Darlingside’s sound featured single microphone vocal harmonies, sparse percussion sound sans a drummer, but acoustically superb use of strings other than guitar and banjo. On their latest recording, 2015’s Birds Say, bassist Dave Senft, guitarist and banjo player Don Mitchell, classical violinist and folk mandolinist Auyon Mukharji, and cellist and guitarist Harris Paseltiner have created a sound that reminds one of the Avett Brothers or Mumford and Sons, but really sounds like nothing I’ve heard before.
The band had me at its a cappella opening “The God of Loss” from Birds Say and cemented my attraction with its set-ending “Blow the House Down” from 2012’s Pilot Machines, the band’s debut recording.
After first running across the band when they were still students at Williams College in western Massachusetts in 2012, I can’t wait to fill in the blanks in my CD cabinet and keep a watch on their continued and justified exposure.
What’s up next with the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: the sold-out Seal on Aug. 31, with tickets available only for the rescheduled Tears for Fears on Sept. 26.
Schedule and more info: