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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Lake Street Dive Ends 40-Show Tour In Boston

“Bad Self Portraits” in Boston with Lake Street Dive

On April 6th, Boston band Lake Street Dive ended their 40-show U.S. tour. Members Rachel Price (vocals), Mike “McDuck” Olson (trumpet, guitar), Bridget Kearney (up-right bass), and Mike Calabrese (drums) met at New England Conservatory where they studied Jazz, as Price mentioned in a recent KEXP video interview. Elements of Jazz can be heard in most, if not all, of the bands’ tunes. In addition, a touch of rock, pop, blues, and a hunk of soul make this band stand out. A lot of the songs begin with a catchy melody, and the form leads it into solo/improvisation space for each instrumentalist. This is a chance for the artist to feed off of the energy of the song in that particular moment, and pump life out of their instrument. This is also typical of standard jazz composition. It’s the heart of the moment and the willingness to create that infuse the experience for both the artist and the audience.

The concert, which took place at the Royale on Tremont Street in downtown Boston, showcased their latest work “Bad Self Portraits”, which is also the name of the title track of the album. This opening song is a mix of blues and pop, whereas other songs on the album swing a little between the aforementioned genres. As multi-instrumentalists, LSD is able to switch up  the style to cater to a wider audience and a more complex variety of emotions as they write the songs.

Though Price could singly raise the roof with her powerful vocals, the other members chip in with 3 or even 4-part harmonies alongside her to lift the crowd toward the ceiling. McDuck pulls at heartstrings with his delicate trumpet in a room-gone-silent.  Kearney leaves eyes wide with her quick-paced and intricate bass improvisation. Calabrese tears up the drum kit with positive energy.

Giving continuous thanks to the audience for supporting them throughout the show wasn’t ebough to show their appreciation. At one point, LSD had their producer Sam Kassirer join them on stage. Kassirer had been a big part of the recording process and played piano for some of the tracks on the album. They brought him onstage for an introduction, followed by his own solo in selected songs.

By the end of their set list, there wasn’t a question of ‘if’ they would come back on for an encore, but ‘when’. Spurred by the audience’s cheering, they waited until the crowd ran out of breath before again appearing.

The band gives a more detailed autobiography on their webpage, where it explains that each member comes from different places in the U.S. However, since attending New England Conservatory, they’ve come to call Boston home as well. The crowd went wild when they expressed how good it felt to be ending their tour in the city where it all started. For all that Lake Street Dive has produced, they make the crowd that much more proud for being  Bostonian too.