Los Angeles, California-based alternative pop band LANY came to Utah on a beautiful Tuesday summer night. Their show at the Great Saltair housed nearly 6,300 fans on their “Malibu Nights” tour and every moment of their concert was beautiful. With songs from a “wonderfully cathartic breakup album” and a few of their earlier tracks, a mesmerizing sunset above the Great Salt Lake to kick the show off and thousands of fans singing along to their sophomore album, this concert was what every summer concert-goer dreams of.
“Malibu Nights” was one of my favorite albums of 2018. When I learned that LANY was touring in Utah, I was beyond excited. Their newest album is a goldmine of harmony, hurt and the concept of going through a heartbreak. In each of the songs, they capture different emotions and convey them well to listeners. Seeing a band live often worries fans: how will the band’s authenticity transfer to their live performances? The LANY trio — Paul Klein (lead vocals and keyboard), Jake Goss (drums) and Les Priest (backup vocals and guitar) — sound exactly the same on their recorded album as they do live, if not more harmonious.
While the vocalists and musicians themselves were spectacular, this was just the beginning of the fun. The stage was crafted in a platform-like fashion, with Klein in the front and his fellow band members on top of the structure.
Behind them, a full screen of visuals changed with every track. From a range of beautiful colors, lightning bolts and even a snippet of the trio dancing in one of their music videos — these effects had everyone holding their phones up to catch a glimpse.
However, the best part of the show was Klein’s interaction with the crowd. Several times between songs, he paused to tell the crowd how much he loved coming to Utah. “Salt Lake City and LANY have a thing,” he said with a proud smile, looking out at the crowd fondly.
He recalled the last time the band had performed in Utah nearly four years ago at The Loading Dock. “I still remember that show,” Klein said. “To date, it’s been one of the loudest shows we’ve ever had.” His irreplaceable optimism and heart were present through every moment of the concert, just as it is in the album itself. Klein even ran into the crowd a few times to be up close with fans. While musicians’ tour schedules usually have them performing every night, it’s always special to fans when they talk about the location they’re performing at. Klein’s words were not only kind but genuine.
The entire atmosphere of the concert was laid back. While there were a lot of people, it didn’t feel crowded. Everyone was singing, dancing and having the time of their lives. Simply put, this is what summer nights should be like. Good music, good friends and the best view. LANY kicked off the summer concert scene in Utah with a bang, and it was clear fans wanted to live through heartbreak with the band. LANY continues to deliver and evolve. “Malibu Nights” proved to be a dawn to a powerful tomorrow and I for one can’t wait to see what LANY does next.