Watch out! Here comes Lights (aka Valerie Anne Poxleitner). Her “We Were Here” tour is traveling across the country in support her most recent album Skin and Earth. Her third studio album Little Machines made the US top 40 and brought her pop aesthetics to the consciousness of fans here. Her latest is even more ambitious.
Some bands write rock operas. Lights has combined her new record with a comic book that brings the world of Skin and Earth to life. The comic is fully written and illustrated by Lights and you’re able to follow the songs with the issues of the comic. A lot of her music invokes a grand, lush, sweeping feeling; the kind of music that brings to mind soundtracks of epics on the big screen. We’ll see if Lights is ready to write a screenplay for Skin and Earth.
In support of Lights are DCF and Chase Atlantic. DCF, aka Prince Caspian, aka David Charles Fischer, opened the night with his brand of electronic dance pop. The Toronto native recently released a new single “Bring a Friend” on Jan 26 and had the crowd dancing from the get go.
Australian band Chase Atlantic brought a change of pace with some indie-rock with an R&B bend, but the energy was turned up even a notch higher! Two of the members Mitchel Cave and Christian Anthony had been top 10 contestants on X-Factor back in 2012 and brought in Cave’s brother Clinton to form the band. They released their self-titled, sophomore LP back in October and brought their grooves and dark lyrics to the crowd, many of whom were already familiar with the band. Add in Clinton’s bluesy saxophone and the place was jamming. Mitchel definitely knew how to work the crowd; the band’s good looks and pounding music driving the young women to a frenzy.
When Lights finally entered the stage to, pardon the pun, bright lights on the back screen, the crowd was more than ready. She opened with “New Fears” from her latest record. Her setlist included eight songs from Skin and Earth. Some of the biggest cheers came when she played songs from early in her career: “Second Go” and “Siberia.” Many of her fans had been following her since the beginning. While the crowd was relatively young, I was surprised to find a 9 year old fan singing along to all her songs. Lights obviously speaks to a multi-generational audience.
After closing the set with “Giants,” which the whole crowd sang along to, Lights came back to end the evening with “We Were Here” and “Almost Had Me.” Seeing such a happy crowd and listening to her music evolve, I have to think the sky’s the limit with Lights.
Article: Howard Shiau