Lucius and Madison are two entities just meant to be together. This was evident Saturday at the High Noon Saloon, given that the concert was sold out and therefore jam-packed. The room was filled with novice and die-hard fans, all of whom verbally attacked me when I pushed my way to the front, buying my chance to bask in the beautiful glory that is Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig (and the rest of the band, of course). I got the karma I deserved when the man in front of me gyrated by the stage for the duration of the concert and periodically swung his arm back just to almost meet my poor, ill-positioned face. Just another element adding to the charm of the evening.
It was Lucius’s last night touring with the band You Won’t, a duo of vocalist and guitar player Josh Arnoudse and experimental instrumentalist and drummer Raky Sastri. The two young boys have immense charm and experiment with a variety of wild instruments. A home-made favorite was Sastri’s saw, which he “played” with a bow (like a violin) in his lap. Sastri himself is a wonder to watch: He doesn’t hit the drums but bangs and punches them. Literally. More than once, one of his drumsticks went flying into the audience or one of the cymbals was knocked over. For such a small man, he sure is vicious with his instruments.
Arnoudse is equally fun to watch, but his eccentric voice — which often seems too near yodel territory — got bothersome quickly. At the end of You Won’t’s performance, Jess and Holly walked onstage with a messy, lit-up cake in celebration of Josh’s birthday. Dan Molad (drummer of Lucius) followed close behind with a pie to Josh’s face, which ended up caking and cluttering the stage with a massive pile of icing. It was quite a show.
When Lucius came on the stage, the audience erupted. The girls, dressed in coordinating outfits of black ponchos and black tights, both barefoot, exuded a confidence that made them seem untouchable and angelic. They shifted their tiny feet onstage and flipped their matching bobs with a heartfelt excitement and happiness. With all their charm and charisma, it’s easy to forget the magical band perched behind them, churning out the innovative music behind the girls’ divine voices. The band’s infectious energy penetrated the audience immediately. Songs like “Genevieve” and “Turn it Around” from their EP had us all gleeful and orgasmic, screaming the background vocals to the apparently well-known choruses. It turns out Lucius is not as esoteric an indie band as I might have thought. The majority of the audience was churning out lyrics with precision and passion, screaming, yelling, enveloping the whole building with the echo of Jess’s and Holly’s voices.
The song “Go Home” ignited the audience, creating a crowd of broken hearts screaming to invisible shitty exes. Jess called it “the fuck-you song.” We all melted through the first verse, waiting on the tips of our toes to belt out the perfectly poignant and angry chorus: “I don’t need you anyway!” It was solidarity at its most therapeutic.
Post-encore, the band pushed past the audience to the center of the room to play the simple, silent and perfect “Two of Us on the Right,” my personal favorite. Many of us wrapped our arms around strangers, looking for a way to end the evening feeling whole. Lucius wrapped up the concert with a beautiful rendition of Paul McCartney’s “Goodbye,” leaving us all completely in awe. The indie-pop band, wrapped around the lovely and luscious duo of Holly and Jess, left the audience sweaty and breathless but indescribably joyful.