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07.07.2024: Lake Street Drive w/s/g Alisa Amador @ Beak & Skiff

Rachael Price of Lake Street Dive

It was an evening to close a July 4th weekend ripped from the overwrought prose of a fanfic, and as cliche as mine: sunny, hot (but not sweltering), a few puffy clouds, and just enough breeze to keep things comfortable. It may not have officially been a sellout, but the crowd was still a sea of folding chairs and blankets spread before the edifice of the stage. It was as unusually evenly mixed, men, women, children and everything in between. The crowd was also better dressed than most. While tees and shorts were still the rule, many more women and men alike were dressed in their summer best: floral sundresses and loud shirts (not just Hawaiian) were out in force. Even the beach ball in the crowd was dressy, as it was full of golden glitter.

The glam beach ball...

Up first was Boston native Alisa Amador, pronounced UH-leesa. She presented a funky mix of folk and, well, funk which resonated with the crowd. It's clear she earned her trip to NPR's Tiny Desk. Her music doesn't fit neatly into a single genre. During the show she described it in turn as "feminist funky jams" and "a latin folk cover of a Radiohead song." In any case, the influences of her having grown up to parents who had their own latin funk band showed through. She was backed by multi-instrumentalist Jamie Yoshima who simultaneously played keys and drums in support of her guitar.

Alisa Amador

Her musicality was evident throughout her set, shifting between vibes, and even improvising while tuning her guitar. Ms. Amador was a well matched set up to what was to come when headliners Lake Street Dive took the stage.

Rachael Price with Akie Bermiss on keys (and the bar kitty)...

The professionalism of Lake Street Dive was impressive and they delivered a lively show that was polished to a brilliant shine. Not only was their musicianship impressive, but so was their stage presence. This was evident throughout the show, from the lighting design, the stage dressing, and even when in their set photographers were allowed (later, to ensure the best mix of natural and stage lighting). The staging had a number of details that may have been completely unnoticed by anyone in the crowd, be it the cat peeking from under the bar, or the bassist having Forky (from Toy Story) in her pedalboard. Their set cycled the energy up and down, yet somehow the general trend built higher and higher, accelerating from crowd pleaser Side Pony until their song Dance with a Stranger, which had nearly the whole crowd on their feet and moving. Strangely though, the biggest crowd sing-a-long actually happened after the show... when "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" (of Dirty Dancing Fame) was played as the crowd began to exit.

That being said, eventually the sun set, the show ended and the worst part of any concert at Beak & Skiff IS the end. Pro-tip: Hit the portajohns on the way out, 'cuz unless you bought the VIP parking, once you get to your car, you ain't going nowhere for the better part of a half an hour. But... then again, if you were at the Lake Street Dive show, you were already grooving well before they told you to " with a stranger 'Til they're not a stranger, not a stranger anymore" and you were lucky to not be dehydrated!

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