Lake Street Dive continued on their path to greatness, with a fiery performance at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theater on Thursday night. After a powerful opening from Robert Finley, the five-piece outfit shined, as they rocked through tunes from their new album Free Yourself Up, as well as hitting the band’s classic hits and covers.

Lake Street Dive started off with some funk from the new album, as singer Rachael Price dove into “Baby Don’t Leave Me Alone With My Thoughts”. The light show was a giant disco ball behind the band, that shot out beams to match Mike Calabrese’s romping dance beat and Akie Bermiss’s funky fills. Bermiss joined the band on tour in 2017, and Free Yourself Up is the first studio effort he’s contributed to. His spacey synthesizer riffs on this song illuminated a new layer of depth for the band.

Lake Street Dive – “Baby Don’t Leave Me In Your Thoughts” – 9/20/2018

[Video: Lawrence Buccat]

Mike “McDuck” Olson then bit into “You Are Free”, with an ascending guitar riff. Price continued to demonstrate her fiery singing style, with the rest of the band showing off their pipes with flawless harmonizing. Next was “I Don’t Care About You” from Side Pony, the first song of the night that was not off of the new album. This song was lit, as it ended with a gospel-like repetition of the chorus where the entirety of the band sped up their parts. Lake Street Dive harmonized behind Price, who riffed like Etta James until the crowd was in a frenzy, and hats were being thrown across the crowd.

The band then jumped back into the new album with “Red Light Kisses”, which featured Bermiss using a funky organ sound. Lake Street seized the energy of the crowd as Price implored half of the audience to sing part of the chorus, while Calabrese showed off one of the finest falsettos on drums. The group then slowed it down, with a trip back to 2014’s Bad Self Portraits with “Better Than”. Olson broke out the trumpet for this one and matched Price’s vocals with some beautiful fills.

Price introduced their classic set of “Bobby” songs, that tell a story of the band’s relationship with “Bobby Tanqueray”, the name of the first song in the trilogy. Stand up bassist Bridget Kearney had been anchoring the rhythm all night, but she really showed off what she could do with an awesome bass solo that played off of the melody. Lake Street Dive then shot into “Spectacular Failure”, before closing the Bobby saga with “Doesn’t Even Matter Now”, which featured a rocking slide guitar solo from Olson.

With the Bobby trilogy complete, the band played the first song of the night off Fun Machine with “Clear a Space”, before coming back to Free Yourself Up with “Hang On”. Kearney and Calabrese took a break and Price sang a haunting “I Can Change” with Olson on acoustic guitar.

Price spoke about the addition of Bermiss and how talented he was, before backing away to harmonize, as Bermiss took the lead on vocals for the first and only time of the evening. This was one of the high points of the show, as he amazed the audience with a soulful take on Shania Twain’s “Still The One”, sung in an entrancing falsetto.

Price returned to lead vocals with a powerful “Call Off Your Dogs”, and followed that with “Seventeen”, which had everyone clapping and singing along to the lyrics. She then introduced their next song as a “song to sing when you’re feeling powerless and want to make a change.” The political undertones of the song were felt as the crowd passionately sang along with “Shame, Shame, Shame”.

Next, the band rocked their classic cover of Paul McCartney’s “Let Me Roll It”, before tearing into some of the band’s biggest hits. “Bad Self Portraits”, “Good Kisser”, and “You Go Down Smooth” finished off the set. It was almost impossible to hear any of the music because of how many audience members were screaming along with Price’s passionate “Good Kisser”.

Lake Street Dive – “Good Kisser” – 9/20/2018

[Video: Lawrence Buccat]

The screaming didn’t stop as the sold-out crowd demanded an encore. Lake Street Dive emerged for their curtain call and unleashed a powerful version of “Dude”. Price delivered her strongest vocal performance of the evening as they jammed through the end of the song with an incredible light display behind them. Looking out at the frenzied crowd, Price laughed in amazement before, Lake Street Dive sang the unmistakable opening lyrics to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The audience sang along one last time as this amazing coda ended another inspiring performance from the band.

Lake Street Dive – “Bohemian Rhapsody” – 9/20/2018

[Video: Lawrence Buccat]