On the evening of November 17th at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, front man Paul Klein of indie-pop band LANY opened the show in an unusual manner. Without any explanation, he sat down cross-legged on the middle of the stage in the dimly lit venue and then proceeded to sing along to two pre-recorded songs through the speakers. He later revealed the songs were two unreleased tracks. After exiting the stage and reappearing again, this time with guitarist and drummer also accompanying, the whole band opened up with the upbeat “4EVER!” off their I Loved You. (2015) EP.
With a name comprised of the initials of two coastal cities, Los Angeles and New York, the band’s sound certainly reflects the mood of the prior. With up-tempo beats, synth melodies, and dreamy vocals consistent for much of the set, you could almost feel the wave of beachy ocean air and warm sunshine within the four walls of the venue. And with lyrics ripe with teen angst, it makes sense that a majority of the audience was comprised of teenage girls, a number of whom brought pink roses as an offering for the band’s lead singer. It was clear the heartthrob had the full attention of the audience, with excited shrieks echoing out between songs and roses flying onstage.
Klein knows how to work a crowd and play up to his sweetheart appeal, making sure to interact with fans when possible. Laying down on the edge of the stage while singing one of the last few songs, Klein reached his hands out to the front-row of female fans, the girls fumbling to grasp a fleeting moment of contact. With screenings of Angelina Jolie and Whitney Houston posted on a digital screen that served as a background, it’s clear that the band knows how to play to the current hip nineties-nostalgic aesthetic. The band feigned a last song, then quickly came back on to perform an encore, closing with the catchy fan-favorite “ILYSB”, a tune that encapsulates LANY’s confessional, endearing, and ever-hopelessly romantic sound.
Article and Photos by Michelle Cho