Review: LANY at Big Top Luna Park, Sydney, 25 March 2018

A late start didn’t stop LANY from dazzling crowds at Luna Park’s Big Top on Sunday. The band made an impressive entrance through thick haze and humidity to the cheers of a rain-soaked crowd, lead vocalist Paul Klein standing with arms outstretched as he thanked audiences for braving the elements to hear them play in one of their “favourite cities.” 

Local alt-pop group Glades loaned their support, performing their yet unreleased track ‘Wide Shut’. It was a fitting opener with its dreamy vocals and synth setting the tone for a night of blissed out loops and crisp beats.

This was LANY’s third visit to Sydney in as many years, and much of the set emulated their performance at the Oxford Art Factory in 2017. Audiences weren’t disappointed, however, as the group drew from their extensive discography to include tracks from their original 2015 EP Make Out up and their most recent cover of Harry Styles’ ‘Sign of the Times’.

LANY’s music constantly recalls high school romance, with all the nostalgia and cynicism only granted with hindsight. Taking swigs from a wine bottle and leaning on his Prophet synthesiser for support, Klein seemed on the edge of tears during a heartfelt rendering of ‘Hericane’.

The night remained devoid of funny anecdotes or jokes that would have seemed out of place against the repeated mantra of “I can do better than this,” on ‘Tampa’, or the confession of unrequited affection in ‘It Was Love’. Drummer Jake Goss and guitarist Leslie ‘Les’ Priestdidn’t say much, but the choice to include ‘Parents’, in which Goss’ mother leaves a minute-long voice message repeating how much she loves and misses her son, spoke enough on its own.

Visuals are just as important as music for the trio (even their band name was chosen for aesthetic purposes, as Klein recently told Teen Vogue) and fans crowded the single merchandise stall to get their hands on some stylish LANY loot.

Roaring along to ‘WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS’, the young crowd was cast an envious green by a stellar lighting crew. The screaming continued until Klein, Goss and Priest returned for an encore of their two most successful tracks, ‘Super Far’ and ‘ILYSB’. It was a muted and mellowed ending to the evening as audiences poured out into Luna Park, glitter mixing with makeup in the smoggy Sydney rain.

Work on their second album has already begun for LANY and as their fame rises, so does their confidence.

If their transfixing performance in Sydney was anything to go by, there’s much more in store.

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