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  • Rich Kassirer

Concert Review: Lake Street Dive at the Lizard Lounge, 4/19/11

Lake Street Dive at the Lizard Lounge.
Lake Street Dive at the Lizard Lounge.

Lake Street Dive just wants you to have fun.

I could end my review right there and you would have enough information to get you to go see them the next time they come to your town. You won’t find a more spirited group of musicians than the quartet of singer Rachael Price, acoustic bassist Bridget Kearney, guitarist/trumpeter (yes!) Mike Olson and drummer Michael Calabrese. They implore you to get up and dance from the first song.

It’s music you want to share with other people. I was there alone, and most of the time I’m OK with that. I like to experience some music by myself — where I don’t have to worry if the person I’m with is having a good time. But Lake Street Dive, no, you want to share the experience.

I was only able to catch the first set of the first night at the Lizard because of having to work the next day (even though the band basically scolded me — really, anyone — if we were to leave early). But from what I did see and hear, I want more, and often.

Calabrese and Kearney lay down the beat behind Price’s rock ‘n’ soul vocals, while Olson adds the exclamation points on the songs with his guitar and especially his sweet trumpet playing. It’s a great change of pace to hear a trumpet in the mix. Did I mention that these guys are all New England Conservatory musicians? So, yeah, they’re talented, and the music is intoxicating. It’s soul mixed with jazz, against a rockin’ beat. It’s dancey. It’s fun. Yes, that’s the genre: fun.

This band is a blast to watch as well: First, they all seem to be having a great time, laughing and peppering each other with their thoughts (they’ve even set a up a “Feelings” page on their website!)  and engaging the audience all along the way. Kearney, who plays in multiple bands including Joy Kills Sorrow (which has a new album in the works), is in turn hunched over her bass or wildly picking and slapping her bass while providing emphatic harmony vocals. And Price is a joy to watch as she moves to the rhythm of the songs like sweet soul singer of some past era.

I wish I knew more of their songs to be able to go into depth about what they played, but since I don’t I will just tell you to check out Lake Street Dive. You will thoroughly enjoy them. Oh, and don’t forget to take someone with you to enjoy them with.

For more pics (not that great), click HERE

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