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CMJ 2013: Lucius at Rockwood Music Hall

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

CMJ 2013 got off to a fine start with the gorgeous sounds of Lucius.

CMJ 2013: Lucius at Rockwood Music Hall

In this article…

My 2013 CMJ experience could not have gotten off to a more enjoyable start. I caught Lucius perform as part of the WFUV Live Showcase at the intimate Rockwood Music Hall, and it might be the best performance I see over the course of this festival. This band is just a delight any way you look at it, and you had an idea their set would be fun when they opened by covering The Beatles' "Free As A Bird."

Singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig have just impeccable voices that command your attention from the first note. There is so much range, and their voices almost act like full bands. They convey so much just with their singing, from the light whisper-like notes to the shouting harmonies. If it were just these two ladies singing, that would be enough to entertain all on its own.

But the Lucius wouldn't be nearly as much fun without the rest of the band (Dan Molad, Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri), all of whom dress to impress. From the wild outbursts of four-way percussion to the four-part harmonies to the smooth guitar solos and bass lines, this band really has everything figured out. Some of their songs literally feature just four percussion parts and a guitar. There's no way that should be as much fun as it is, but Lucius won't conform to my preconceived notions. It's a total blast. 

Lucius played a bunch of new material from their just-released debut album Wildewoman. The new stuff sounds like a great progression for the group. They maintain their playful and exuberant nature while adding in more layers to give their songs a more well-rounded and complete sound. Sets like yesterday's prove this group's appeal, and it won't be long before everyone is talking about this band.

Check back all week long for dispatches from the 2013 CMJ Music Marathon.

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