Sometimes, a soupcon of nostalgia stirred into a modern beat mix is exactly what’s needed when you want to blow off some dance party steam or just groove to the perfect playlist. And this Saturday evening (Sept. 2), KTAOS Solar Center will be the heart and soul of, well, that kind of soul.
In what promises to be one of the hottest tickets in town this summer, KTAOS is delighted to announce the appearance of Lake Street Dive on its outdoor stage as the final act of the radio station’s summer concert series.
The show, slated to rock the crowd beginning at 8 p.m., will open with Taos icons Bob Andrews and Mina Tank sharing their own inspired spins on classic covers before the “uncategorizable, weird, outlying genre-less band” takes the stage, as aptly described by Lake Street Dive’s bassist, Bridget Kearney.
And what a high-energy, danceable and, yes, timeless sound comes from Lake Street Dive’s powerhouse blend of R&B, pop, soul and 1960s rock: one that is taking the music world by storm.
“This is by far the biggest name to come to Taos this summer,” said David Darus, general manager at KTAO.
Expect the bandmates to step out onto the stage decked in their signature vintage London style. They will regale you not only with lead vocalist Rachel Price’s heartbreakingly resonant alto lead vocals, but also with a songbook of feel-good tunes that will send you both back to the past and into the future.
Released in 2016, Lake Street Dive’s latest album, “Side Pony,” premiered high on the Billboard 200 and even higher on its alternative music chart. It has continued to scorch the airwaves with a unique music mix, influenced by a myriad of generational favorites, such as ABBA, The Mamas and Papas, The Drifters, Fleetwood Mac, Hall and Oates, The Jackson 5 and, most notably, The Beatles.
Back in May 2014, drummer Mike Calabrese told The Observer, “We want it to sound like The Beatles and Motown had a party together.” And that same year, Rolling Stone Magazine noted in “Sounds Like” that Lake Street Dive is “Llewyn Davis’s favorite pop group; Motown meets the Brill Building in jazzy, soulful, woulda-been [’60s] chart toppers.”
More recently, on June 22 of this year, Rolling Stone gave a shoutout to the band’s “retro roots” performance on that week’s appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” praising “a greasy guitar solo and some serious vocal pyrotechnics” of lead singer Price.
In addition to the Colbert show, Lake Street Dive has been invited to appear on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Today Show,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “Conan.” The group’s rigorous touring schedule had it in more than 100 venues during 2016, spanning the United States, Australia and Europe. The group’s members were also honored with an invitation to play at the Obama White House.
Prior to this unprecedented stop in Taos, the summer of 2017 has taken them from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to concert halls and festivals throughout California, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Colorado and Oregon, playing with the likes of Hall and Oates, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and the soul band St. Paul and The Broken Bones.
Price (lead vocals, guitar) is joined by Mike “McDuck” Olson (trumpet, guitar), Kearney (upright bass) and Calabrese (drums).
The band members met in Boston, Massachusetts, while they were all students at the New England Conservatory of Music. In addition to their own affinity for the classics of music, they brought with them the influences of their families – several family members having musical aspirations of their own – and the music that was their childhood soundtrack. Their mutual interests led them to form the band in 2004.
The band’s accomplished songwriters touch upon themes reflecting the ups and downs of modern romance, but convey the angst with an upbeat and empowering message. There’s no room for melancholy on the stage or in the group’s five studio albums. It’s all about being strong and believing in oneself.
And, in the bandmates’ collective appreciation for The Beatles, some original tunes give a nod to those great classics. Olson’s “You Go Down Smooth” is a wink at Paul McCartney’s “Got To Get You Into My Life.” How about Kearney’s original – titled, “Hello? Goodbye” – or, “Don’t Make Me Hold Your Hand”?
Lake Street Dive is also as likely to cover such gems as The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” or Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” giving each a refreshingly modern spin while nevertheless maintaining the original integrity of each.
Unlike other bands that may be – correctly or not – categorized as alternative music, the audience for Lake Street Dive has crossed generations with the band’s sophisticated, bluesy ballads and playful, catchy takes on music that all ages can’t help but relate or respond to. It’s no wonder tickets for Lake Street Dive’s shows sell out in venues in which the group appears.
Price told NPR, “We are translating [crowd] energy onstage, trying to figure out what kind of energy to put out to the crowds. For the first time, we feel we can mold the energy of a room.”
If that’s the case, then come out and let the members of the band give you what you want; it’s a certainty they won’t disappoint you.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at holdmyticket.com. The KTAOS Solar Center is located at 9 State Road 150, north of El Prado. All ages are welcome.
For more information, call (575) 758-5826 or visit ktao.com. For more information about Lake Street Dive, visit lakestreetdive.com.