Lucius: twice bitten, never quite shy

Without any amount of surprise I’ve discovered that the pop genre is one of my favorites. It’s much more complex than the bubblegum junk that’s mass produced and force fed to the public. Lucius is a prime example. Their songs possess a toe-tapping, harmonious zest, atop a mouthwatering indie-pop hook. Prior to their set I had never experienced their brute force in any capacity. It’s shameless, unrelenting.

The leading ladies, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, take to the stage in a flash of green corduroy and smoke. Singing as one, with a sound that blends and twists in synchronicity. Wolfe and Laessig appear so in tune you would assume they were sisters. It’s evident that both women are musically trained (both having attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston), but the ease in which they deliver such a polished live performance is astounding. Lucius greets Chicago’s Lincoln Hall with an uproar of brow-beating that hits boldly in the gut.  Fluid, yet reassuring, with a mean beat that causes an instinctive reaction in your foot. If this isn’t classic pop, then surely there isn’t such thing. This talented group of individuals (also comprised of drummer Dan Molad and guitarists Peter Lalish and Andrew Burri) were brought into the world to share their music, their passion, and their talent. Anything less would be a sin.

Lucius provides infectious indie-pop. After previewing their recently released album,Wildewoman, I’ll admit they left me guessing. I had zero expectation. I was equipped with a short sampling of their previously released EP Lucius and my editor’s word that I would have a blast, I was experiencing the group blindly. Needless to say, they provided me nothing less than one of the best live experiences to date.

Leaning against the exposed brick in the balcony of Lincoln Hall, Goose Island Green Line in hand, I was channeling my inner Christina Ricci (minus the strong male suitor distracting me from my prose) doing my best Prozac Nation. The most content, lonely, little wallflower in the world. It’s a shame you can’t share the live experience with everyone, as  Lucius delivers a story that a record simply can’t replicate to such a degree. Their music echoes across the music hall with sadness that isn’t entirely unpleasant. I was overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions. They ranged from abundant joy at finding my true happiness and calling in life, to a surge of sadness that could only come from listening to an artist perfectly describe the personal pain and longing that would resonate with all those heartbroken and weary. It was everything I had ever wanted. All I could think was that I had been entirely humbled and thankful for such an experience. I left as they started their final number, which was the sassiest yet.

I felt the doors of the venue close behind me as I greeted the brisk October air. Fall had finally descended on Chicago. Friday night was slowly becoming a night to be spent indoors with close friends and a bottle of bourbon. I headed to the train, content with my evening adventures, and I couldn’t help but feel a deep chill as I recalled the sweaty social hour at Lincoln Hall. I have been blessed with a gift, and the only responsible thing to do is to share that gift with the rest of the world. My first piece of advice? Experience the carnival fun-house that is a Lucius set. For both our sakes.

Lucius is currently rambling on round the nation in support of their current album Wildewoman. They provide maritime fun for those in their wake, to know them is to love them and you’ll love them indeed.

-Cole Scott, Junior Editor, On Tour Magazine