October 27, 2010
It's got to be tough for a petite young lady to fill the Nile Theater stage, especially when your band has only three people in it.
But Canada-based LIGHTS managed to hold her own at last night's show, as the electro pop singer energized the room with her smile alone. The super-cute 23-year-old's happiness beamed into the crowd, as her aw-shucks humbleness was so charming, you'd just as soon be friends with her as you would watch her perform.
LIGHTS played for a little more than an hour, bringing out brand new tracks as well as the songs her fans have grown to love on her album, The Listening, and her most recent EP, LIGHTS.Acoustic. She broke the set up with an acoustic middle, and she played keytar, guitar, keyboards and synths throughout the show, with her two band members manning drums, bass and more keyboards and synths.
The show was originally scheduled for The Underground, the basement of the Nile, but because so many tickets were sold, it was moved into the main room, which was about a third full. It was evident the crowd was comprised of loyal fans, considering they sang along and took over her vocals on the song "Drive My Soul". The vibe was upbeat and fun, with LIGHTS leading fist pumping and clapping in-between high-fiving fans.
LIGHTS seemed a little shy in-between songs, keeping banter to a minimum. She almost seemed overwhelmed and in disbelief at the size of her headlining tour, which she later confirmed by saying, "This is a dream come true. I feel so, so lucky. I think I love you." While she was a strong performer, playing and singing confidently though her voice is so delicate, she had little bravado when she wasn't singing. Rather, it was as though LIGHTS was playing a show for her peers, her friends, and maybe that modesty is what makes her such an appealing and relatable artist.
LIGHTS also proved she has a sense of humor by throwing in a cover of the "Bedroom Intruder" song, which was downright pretty since she performed it on acoustic guitar. In fact, her best performances of the night vocally were the acoustic ones, since the audience could really hear her voice clearly. The other songs were fun dance-y jams, but the melodies took center stage on those, not her vocals.
It was pretty clear the crowd loved LIGHTS and thought she was awesome enough to dance and sing along to. The key to her future success will be if she owns her talent herself. She already has a wonderful attitude and catchy songs--now she just needs to believe she can be the star she deserves to be.
Personal Bias: I think LIGHTS is probably one of the cutest and most down-to-earth young women in the music scene today, and she was really nice when I interviewed her a couple weeks ago.
The Crowd: High school and college aged kids, many of who probably saw her when she opened up for Owl City.
Overheard in the crowd: "She's so good live, I can't handle it," by a young female fan after the show.
Random Notebook Dump: I almost wish she had performed at The Underground, because it would have felt like an even more intimate show.
Bedroom Intruder (Antoine Dodson cover)
Fall Back Down (Rancid cover)
The Last Thing on Your Mind
Drive My Soul
Close to Me (The Cure cover)
Cactus in the Valley
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.