LANY’s energy and aesthetic electrify St. Louis


Photo Courtesy of LANY.

On Tuesday, LANY gave a taste of California shores and good vibes at the Pageant. Solo artist FLETCHER opened for them, hyping the crowd up with her upbeat songs like “Wasted Youth” and “Undrunk.” Her vocal range was impressive, pulling the audience in.

The stage was set up in two levels: the top level was the instrumentalists and the bottom level had the lead singer, Paul Klein, spearheading the energy by dancing around on stage and playing on the synthesizers to create LANY’s unique synthpop sound. Even their drum set and instrument board were clear so that the audience could experience both visuals and sounds. By using lights and looped videos on the screens, the band set the tone for each song. Their concert was an extremely immersive experience, both aesthetically and musically.

The band walked on stage and opened with “Thick and Thin,” marked by a constant drum beat and dreamy sounds. This song was a strong start since it brought the audience up to their feet to dance and scream their lyrics. After flashing lights, the song ended and cut to black. Sounds of cameras flashing filled the room and screen shots of a text conversation saying “i loved you.” appeared on the screen, referring to their 2015 EP. Audience members threw roses at the stage after the song “4EVER!” Klein seemed genuinely surprised and flattered, thanking them and saying that it was his birthday. “It’s just another day for me,” he said dismissively, then continued to hype up the audience. During “If You See Her,” Klein went into the crowd, sweeping his hands to touch as many people as possible.

LANY focused on being visually striking and contrasting with their background. The band looked like silhouettes in front of the bright screens. A lot of the videos that played during their set had sunsets, skies, or colorful backdrops to bring the audience to the Los Angeles beaches that they came from. In “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore,” the background was a simple image of flowing silver silk sheets as Klein played piano. My favorite song, “pink skies” had flashing pink lights paired with a backdrop of a sunset over a busy highway. When singing “Taking Me Back,” the lyrics appeared on the screen so that we could sing karaoke-style. “Malibu Nights” had a backdrop of a night sky and inspired the audience to hold up their phone flashlights to accompany the piano-heavy ballad. Then, the constant pulsing rhythms of “Super Far” had the audience singing at the top of their lungs. They also embraced a throwback to the 90s, using rainbow static from old television screens as a background during “Hurts.”

When they walked offstage, their name repeated on the screen in pixelated font, looking like a broken computer. The audience cheered loudly, bringing back the band onstage for the encore. They closed their show with “Thru These Tears” and “ILYSB,” which are two of their most popular songs. Afterwards, they bowed in front of a screen with the book cover to “Goodnight Moon,” beaming with pride for their performance and love for the audience.

LANY creates music to exude positive energy. Their infectious melodies and 80s-inspired synthpop made the crowd dance and sing at the top of their lungs. Though the lyrics of the album “Malibu Nights” may be focused on heartbreak, LANY channeled that pain into playing upbeat songs for their fans to connect with. For some concerts, you see artists to hear them improvise or provide an acoustic set. LANY’s show was marked by bubbly energy and visually striking staging to complement their upbeat sound. They gave us an exciting artistic performance to remember beyond any Instagram story.

LANY’s music has always brought me joy. I blast their songs in the car during long drives or focus to their albums when writing a paper. Throughout the set, Klein would ask, “Are you happy?” Before cheering loudly, I said to myself, “you know what? I am.”