After two sold-out nights at The Fillmore, LANY’s popularity only continues to trend upward

LANYBy Steve Carlson //

LANY with Dagny //
The Fillmore – San Francisco
October 30th, 2017 //

The first time I saw LANY perform in SF, they opened for X Ambassadors at The Independent back in 2015. I remember being impressed by their brief set and pondering that if there were ever a band that had the perfect ingredients to launch to stardom on a rocket ship, which in this case is the teen-female demographic, it was this one.

Raw, unapologetic lyrics about the joy and inevitable heartache of falling in and out of love? Check. Catchy, synth-laden pop hooks that you can’t get out of your head for days? Check. A deeply emotional and earnest male model for a frontman? Check!

And so, two years since LANY’s show at The Independent, the Los Angeles-based three-piece made a triumphant return to the Bay Area for two sold-out nights at The Fillmore in support of its debut self-titled LP. It was immediately clear from the line, which wrapped around the block, that despite cool temperatures, the band has grown an enviable, die-hard audience.


Opening the show was Norwegian pop singer Dagny, who charmed the packed room with her infectious smile and had the whole crowd dancing to her hook-filled grooves. You can expect to hear more from the “Backbeat” singer in the near future. And if her brief, yet energetic set was any indication, she has both the confidence and talent to be a star before long. But once the evening’s headliner stepped onstage (with an audio recording of a British woman politely informing us that we were about to experience “the best 80 minutes of our life”), it was clear that liftoff had been achieved.

LANY’s Jake Goss (drums) and Les Priest (guitar, keyboards) spent the majority of the night in the background, laying down ample beats and textures as frontman Paul Klein (vocals, guitar, keyboards) did what he does best, wearing his heart on his sleeve while engaging the mostly-female audience. Countless long-stem roses littered the antiseptically clean, shiny stage as the night went on, and Klein seemed to genuinely enjoy every minute of the promised 80-minute set, which felt like it was packed with far more hits than a band its age should already have (a benefit of releasing fresh tracks regularly in the form of EPs over the last two years), as well as a smartly chosen cover of Harry Styles’ recent hit “Sign of the Times”.

When Klein spoke, he did so with a noticeably greater maturity since that opening slot back at The Indy, which perhaps owes itself to the comfort and confidence that comes with achieving a certain measure of fame. Whatever the reason, it was clear from this performance in SF that LANY’s popularity is trending upward and their confidence is growing with it. It seems to me that their potential could perhaps be most closely compared to another emotionally charged pop band with a curly-haired frontman that’s hit another level in recent years: The 1975. That would not be bad company to be in if it pans out for them, but in the meantime, it should be interesting to see where LANY go with their future songwriting.

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