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Live Review and Photo Gallery: LANY at Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom • Chicago

| October 18, 2021


Saturday, October 16

Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom

Chicago, IL

Review and photos by Andy Argyrakis

A major slice of the three years since LANY brought Malibu Nights to both Lollapalooza and the Riviera may have been spent with the entire world stopped, but that doesn’t mean the ascending indie-pop players wasted a single second.

The trio comprised of frontman Paul Klein, non-touring keyboardist Charles Priest, and drummer Jake Goss didn’t just drop a stripped-down and introspective affair, 2020’s Mama’s Boy, but quickly returned to the dreamy dance floor with gg bb xx.

That meant there was a whole pile of current tunes to unveil at the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, alongside others from the past half-decade that has led LANY to amass an astounding three billion streams and top Billboard’s Alternative Albums chart.

As the brand new “Get Away” kicked off the 100-minute set, it found the guys more than ready to get back in the swing of shows with everyone in the packed club who presented their COVID-19 vaccine card or proof of negative test screaming along at the top of their lungs.

Literally, every track was accompanied by the audience joining with “Livin’ On A Prayer”-level fervor, especially “Thick And Thin,” “Super Far” (played twice due to a technical glitch), and “Never Mind, Let’s Break Up” towards the beginning, despite not being traditional radio hits, but having an immeasurable impact online.

Even so, all of LANY’s buzz is easy to understand, given its regularly blossoming bouquet of magnetic melodies, insane hooks, and heart-on-sleeve lyrics that are often as vulnerable as they are relatable.

The shiny bursts of “Roll Over, Baby,” the insanely infections “Care Less,” and the gospel-infused “I Still Talk To Jesus” are a few more examples. The guitar/keyboard-switching Klein commanded the crowd to the point where he eventually went horse.  The backline of musicians, including multi-instrumentalists Kim Vi and Eric “Puff” Scarborough, were always on top of the groove.

“Dancing In The Kitchen” was arguably the evening’s supreme banger. At the same time, the epic and emotive “Malibu Nights” continues to be an anthemic classic-in-the-making as far as the momentum-building ballads go.

However, the encore kept building with the heaven-bound “You!” and LANY’s earliest breakthrough, “ILYSB,” with fans loudly personifying its “I love you so bad” acronym as the band. A teary-eyed Klein waved goodbye, promising to make up for his increasingly parched voice that never once diminished the overwhelmingly communal experience.


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Category: Featured, IE Photo Gallery, Live Reviews

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