Lucius at Cedar Cultural Center, 2/20/14

Categories: Last Night
Photo by Mark N. Kartarik

With You Won't
February 20, 2014
Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis

While Thursday night might have been nothing short of harrowing outside, inside the cavernous Cedar Cultural Center, Brooklyn-bred Lucius tried to melt just about everything within earshot with a lushly-arranged, fairly tale-like batch of songs that seemed borne from the heart of David Byrne and the brain of Andy Warhol.

The band began with a fantastic new song, of which the title was never deduced. Singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig had dressed identically with what appeared to be matching blond wigs as well. They were ably backed by guitarists Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri and drummer Dan Moland, also dressed alike. "Tempest" from last year's Wildewoman, showcased Wolfe and Laessig's phenomenal harmonies, as well as the rest of the band's formidable prowess.

The folk-dusted "Don't Just Sit There" came next and with that there was no question that Lucius had the crowd in the palm of its hand. The proof was easy enough to point out: there was hardly a person either looking at or holding a phone in the air, everyone stood transfixed on the Cedar's stage -- what exactly might come next?

Photos by Mark N. Kartarik

The title track, with its almost country bent gave way to the post-punky "Nothing Ordinary, " and while it was one of the night's highlights it also served as the key to unlocking the band. They're impossible to pigeonhole, the songs sounded like a great many influences and different bands but, really, all they sound like is themselves.

Instead of jostling for space in an already crowded room, Lucius seems to have succeeded in building a room that's just for them. They attacked like a pack of velociraptors, conning you into watching one thing, while the rest of the band is slowly sneaking up on you in the periphery to knock you senseless. It's a neat trick and never got old over the course of the night, during which it happened no less than five times.

"Until We Get There" got the crowd swaying in unison, while "How Loud Your Heart Gets" ratcheted the energy level up once again, underscoring the bands ability to throw everything at the wall and amazingly have it all stick. There were passages in "How Loud" that sounded like heavy metal that quietly extinguished into folk-rockish territory. It wasn't the only time the band magically transitioned as such on Thursday, it was certainly the most compelling example.

Photos by Mark N. Kartarik

"Turn It Around" began the night's sendoff, with openers You Won't joining them onstage -- complete with blonde wigs to match Laessig and Wolfe's. Lucius's latest single, "Go Home," was a fine example of why people started to and should continue to pay attention to what they're offering. They ended with the ambling "Genevieve" and that would have been enough; should have been enough, even. But Lucius wasn't through with the crowd just yet.

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