The sold-out St. Lucia show at Crescent Ballroom last night definitely felt like being hit with a tidal wave of pop sensation. Arizona may be one of the only places where you can comfortable rock beachware in October: floral-printed button-up shirts, khaki shorts, flip flops and tans were displayed on almost every guy in the venue. Most possibly because most guys at the show last night were quite comfortable with their sexuality, if you know what I mean.
Before the band stepped onto the stage, Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" can be heard on the speakers as the lights dimmed. The members of St. Lucia entered and got into position. In just minutes, the Crescent Ballroom would be struck with brightest lights the venue had seen, according to a few audience members. Flashes of pink and teal flew across the stage as Jean-Philip Grobler led his band of merry instrumentalists through a parade of '80s-infused electronica. Music aside, the band was visually pleasing: the lights complimented them, their fashion sense was like looking at an ad for H&M, and the energy on stage was contagious with jumping and clapping and smiling.
The evening, at moments, felt nostalgic. Grobler's voice would soar through the venue and hit such accuracy, and at most times reflected George Michael in his singing style and stage presence. The soulful R&B tune "Love Somebody" quickly became a crowd favorite with how similar to Michael he sounded. "The Way You Remember Me" began similarly to ABBA's hit "Mamma Mia" with its appegiated synthesized melody. Even the culture-filled personality hidden in songs such as "Wait for Love" mirrored Culture Club, while "Forgiveness" reflected Tears for Fears.
It's easy to categorize St. Lucia as a blast-from-the-past kind of band, but this band is charging with full-force into a brighter future. I imagine the next time they roll through town, they will pack out the Marquee Theatre, then supporting arena tours with some big-name before they pack their own arenas. This is one catchy electronic band I can get behind fully-fledged and support, and their first show in Arizona proved to be a warm welcome for them.
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