The night opened with the jazz-infused Miss. Tess and the Talkbacks. Miss. Tess has quite a history with Lake Street Dive's vocalist, Rachel Price. The two became roommates in 2005 and have supported each other through their music careers ever since. Miss. Tess provides a jazz sound that is infused with old honky tonk, rock 'n' roll, and modern pop. They create melodies that are unique and can't be narrowed down to one genre. Miss. Tess delivers a radiant croon supported by drums, bass, and her own guitar. They shared new songs from their second album with Signature Sounds entitled The Love I Have for You. The group was well-received by the Carrboro crowd, who sang along and swayed to the sunny sounds of Miss. Tess and the Talkbacks.
Lake Street Dive took the stage with an appreciation for the crowd. They started with new music from their upcoming album, Bad Self-Portraits, set to be released February 18. The excited fans cheered as soon as vocalist Rachel Price sang her first melody. Her rich alto rolled through the room with confidence and strength, mixed with her charisma and raw talent. Price's powerful vocals were strengthened, song after song, with the sweet harmonies of bassist, Bridget Kearney and drummer, Mike Calabrese with the trumpeting of Mike "McDuck" Olson.
The group possesses a rare ability of combining the old with the new, mixing Motown with modern pop to create a sound that doesn't currently exist. It's rare to see an entire band that possesses trained musicianship with raw, natural talent, but Lake Street Dive does so flawlessly.
The band moved through the set, ceaselessly flowing from one tune to the next. The crowd cheered as they progressed into, "Would it be true that I ordered you/ Or is it you that ordered me" from the already popular song, "You Go Down Smooth." This has recently hit social media after Lake Street Dive's remarkable performance on Colbert. From there, the fans sang along to a smoky and sultry cover of George Michael's "Faith" and danced happily to this refreshed classic. The night ended where it all began for this band, with their velvety cover of Jackson 5's, "I Want You Back." This cover gained recognition for the group in 2012 with a You Tube video that reached over 1.4 million views.
Aside from the obvious musicality of this quartet, there was one element of the band that made them especially likable and respectable: lack of ego. It was easy to sense the mutual appreciation the band mates held for one another and for their fans. They each had moments to shine during the set and were heavily supportive of each other. This isn't always so obvious in an industry built on pride and ego, so it was a pleasure to witness it in such an honest way.
Lake Street Dive is soaring upwards quickly. Their video on You Tube and first TV appearance on The Colbert Report helped them get started, now their natural talent and humble demeanor will carry them through a projected long and successful career. To learn more about Lake Street Dive and order their new album, Bad Self Portraits, check out our recent interview and visit their website.
Check out a performance of "You Go Down Smooth" from "Another Day, Another Time" that appeared on Showtime.