Prove your humanity

American (sad boy) electro-pop group LANY wrapped up their Australian Malibu Nights tour with their show at Perth’s Astor Theatre last Sunday. It was a short but sweet night; their set was around 80 minutes but it was packed full of excitement and raw emotion.

The crowd was smaller than I was expecting, but for a small venue the Astor was still quite full and the crowd continued to grow as LANY’s set time neared. The excitement was vibrating through the crowd; each slight movement near the stage or flicker of flights was met with an eruption of screams. (I think my right eardrum was possibly damaged by the piercing scream from the girl next to me when the band ran on stage and jumped straight into Thick and Thin, one of the band’s more upbeat tracks.)

LANY was met with cheers after cheers as they turned their setlist towards their older tracks, playing Good Girls off their debut self-titled album, followed by 4EVER! from their debut EP, I Loved You. and yea, babe, no way—a definite crowd favourite of the night—off their EP kinda. The dreamy tunes were accompanied by colourful and captivating lighting displays and backdrops.

Frontman Paul Klein jumped around the stage decked out in an ‘I heart Perth’ t-shirt and demonstrated his middle-aged dad-like dance moves. Klein thrived on the energy of the crowd; his passion in his music was evident in his raw and emotive vocals.

At two different points throughout the night, he hopped down off the stage and leant into the crowd over the barrier. Both times he was met with a crowd rushing and pushing each other for the chance to hold his hand or be closer to him and fans holding roses up to him—flowers were thrown on stage throughout the night, a common occurrence at LANY concerts.

The heartbreaking dance track, I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore from their latest album Malibu Nights was up next. Followed by Taking Me Back, which was accompanied by the song’s lyrics in bright yellow on the screen behind the band giving punters no excuse not to sing along, which Klein capitalised on constantly pointing to the lyrics and indicating he wanted to hear the crowd sing louder. “You sound so good,” he constantly encouraged.

Klein took a moment to reflect and appreciate his band, introducing each member—Les Priest (Keys, Guitar, Backup vocals) and Jake Goss (Drums) and then working the crowd up into a chant of their name. He left himself last, noting “I’m in the best band in the world”.

Illuminated by a backdrop of sunrise oranges and reds, LANY played Made in Hollywood, another track off their 2015 EP, Make Out, before smashing out Hurts, Run and 13. The band took it back to the new album for the dance track If You See Her which explores the common theme of love. Following on from this was The Breakup, one of my personal favourites, with Klein crooning “it’s never the same love after the break up”.

Pink Skies, Hericane and Super Far made up the remaining tracks. The band flew through their setlist, with little breaks between each track. The show was coming to a close before we all knew it.

The final track, Malibu Nights broke everyone’s hearts just as fans were expecting. Klein slowed the pace down and sat at the piano illuminated by the background of a sparkling starry night. He finished whispering “thank you thank you thank you” to the crowd repeatedly before leaving the stage and bursting back for a two-song encore—Thru These Tears and the infamous ILYSB.

It was an emotive and intimate evening. The only downside of the night was the short set—which ended quite early at 9.30pm—left a few of my favourite songs on the bench, but not to worry, frontman Paul Klein left us hopeful with his finishing note “see you in 2020”.