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As I wrote about during my recap of the 2016 Governors Ball music festival a few weeks back, music is a huge passion of mine outside of my day job (and writing The Style Guide, of course!). That goes for live music in and around NYC, particularly. So, when I saw that one of my favorite acts of all-time, the indie-pop band Lucius, was playing a small show at Daryl’s House Club in the small town of Pawling, N.Y., I knew I had to hit the road once again — more on the evening in a second, but know that the show was fantastic. Of course, going right from the office to a train to a concert is no matter to be trifled with, so I met the occasion in style (click here for more summer travel style tips in the meantime).
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Lucius — please fix that (only partially kidding). Berklee College of Music grads Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig are a duo unlike any other, complemented by a great three-piece band and their blend of indie pop is infectious, melodic, innovative and in short, like nothing you’ve ever heard. They burst onto the scene with their debut album Wildewoman in 2013, which garnered heaps of critical acclaim from critics and fans alike (particularly after they performed a very neat Tiny Desk Concert at NPR). Songs like “Until We Get There” immediately struck a chord with me as well — I was hooked from the first time I heard them! The success of their first album and the resulting acclaim led to an extensive tour run — in fact, I had the pleasure of catching them at Outside Lands in 2014 — and all the while, they blew audiences away with a melodic stage show, ornately designed and coordinated stage wear(more on that in a second), and a refreshingly honest approach to life as seen through music. Seriously — please check them out.
And the release of their second album, Good Grief, brought them back out on the road again earlier this year — including the stop in Pawling playing to an enthralled crowd as seen above. On that note, the night’s opening act, the lovely Margaret Glaspy, is also worth a listen. Now, I’d already caught one of two NYC shows Lucius played (at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on a great Thursday night), so my expectations were quite high this time around. Musically, the group’s second album evolves their style and blends some 80s rock influences with the lilting, retro-leaning songs for which the group is known (the two best examples of this contrast are perhaps “Born Again Teen” and “Dusty Trails” — both excellent songs in their own right!). Given that they’ve toured the globe, played festivals and wowed more than 1,000 people earlier this spring at Webster Hall in NYC, it was a treat to know that the atmosphere at Daryl’s House Club would be much more intimate (roughly 200-person capacity). The venue doubles in part as a bar and restaurant, making it even more unique. Of course, that’s no less of an excuse to dress in versatile style, right? Concert-going often calls to mind lots of black slim denim, tough boots and maybe a denim jacket, but there are just as many ways to dress for a concert without going that route.
To go from my NYC office to the quaint town of Pawling, I grabbed my JackThreads Natural Trucker Jacket and a slim short-sleeve chambray shirt via JACHS NY, along with my durable Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag to haul my gear. The color of the Natural Trucker Jacket is a welcome change of pace from a dark denim jacket, and the short-sleeve chambray shirt is a slightly more dressed-up approach compared to, say, a slim short-sleeve henley (although that would also work here). And given that the stage style of Lucius is eclectic, unique and often tailored (right down to the coordinated yellow blazers worn by their band), it seemed fitting to wear a collared shirt — style upgrades are in the details, after all. I paired that combination with some trusty slim grey selvedge denim from Billy Reid, another style swerve compared to the black or classic dark blue denim — I’d recommend keeping things slim and tailored when rocking denim to a show.
On the footwear front, I paired up that high-low style combo with the comfortable, lightweight Soul36 Grant Brown Nubuck Derby — of course, no-show socks were essential to finish off the outfit. It’s yet another change of pace from normal footwear found at concerts, but the shoes were comfortable and easy to stand in, and the small space at Daryl’s lent itself to a more relaxed footwear choice. And I capped off the outfit with my brown leather MVMT Watches timepiece, a crisp-yet-casual watch that lent itself to the colors of the outfit nicely thanks to the blue dial. With all that gear in place, I hit the road from work to Pawling, and had just enough time to swing by the Corner Bakery for a tasty afternoon iced coffee. The town itself is small, quaint and worth a trip if you fancy a getaway from NYC. Given that it can often be hectic trying to travel in style and get to a destination on time, it was worth the trip to have the opportunity to explore the town before the show — of course, my main focus was the upcoming performance!
And the show itself — absolutely stunning (catch the above video to get a sample of their live work). Again, the group was perfectly complemented by the blues rock of Margaret Glaspy, which got the crowd ready for a stunning night. Lucius opened with “Madness,” a powerfully rich song off of Good Grief, thrilled the crowd with “Tempest” and picked things up with “Almost Makes Me Wish For Rain,” a jaunty tune that merges an eclectic beat with the rich harmonies of Jess and Holly. The versatility in their set list really is something else, what with slower tunes like “Dusty Trails” playing off more uptempo pieces like “Turn It Around,” another personal favorite. A mid-set outfit change led into a stirring second half of the show, including beautiful renditions of “Don’t Just Sit There,” “Go Home” and “How Loud Your Heart Gets,” just three selections off the stunning Wildewoman album — still a favorite three years after its 2013 release. The highlight of the night was a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “Two of Us on the Run,” one of my all-time favorite songs, which Jess and Holly sang while seated after reading a statement calling for peace, love and unity in the face of so much violence across the country. A better tribute, there couldn’t have been. And a better night and show? Not a chance. Jess and Holly make an incredible duo, the show spans an amazing selection of songs, the entire band plays like a well-oiled machine and their on-stage style (sequined gold jumpsuits and ornate gold capes for Jess and Holly, in this case), is a sight to behold.
The evening would have been spectacular enough in its own right even if I didn’t get the chance to meet Jess and Holly afterward — but that capped things off perfectly! It was a pleasure and an honor to meet them — they’re extremely nice, and it’s so refreshing to find that out about the artists who so oftentimes soundtrack our daily lives. Their music means so much to so many people, myself included. I’m counting down the days ’til I see them again! I was also pleased I was able to make the trip without an outfit change from office to concert, but the real takeaway here is that Lucius is an extraordinary band worth your time and money if ever you get the chance to see them — to say the least! Do so in style, and I guarantee you you’ll have a night to remember.
Until next time — see you in the front row,