Concert Review: Lucius, Celisse, May 18, Opera House

Lucius (67)

In April, Lucius released their first album in over four years – Second Nature – and this month, they made their way to the stage at The Opera House to show us just how fun it could be when you see it performed live! The duo, who have perfected the arts of musical and stylistic synchronization, along with the other members of the six piece, synth-heavy band had only played two shows in Canada over the past six years, so the fans in attendance had been eagerly awaiting this one.

Kicking things off with the title track from their new album, Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe – who in the past have joked about dressing like twins – arrived wearing matching black feather and sequin outfits that would have made Stevie Nicks proud. Laessig and Wolfe didn’t just pair their outfits and vocals together perfectly on their unique double microphone though; they also played drums, keyboard and keytars at various points throughout the show too, in constant unison with one another.

Prior to playing “Dusty Trails” – the only single from their sophomore album Good Grief to be played that evening, Wolfe spoke to the crowd about how the past couple of years of the pandemic had recontextualized some of their songs. When they wrote the song originally, it was about how being on the road had made going home at the end of the tour feel good, but distinctly different than before their careers really took off – and that came with its challenges. But now, with two years and several lockdowns in the rear-view mirror, the song is more of an inverse of that and feels like it’s about not being home anymore and getting used to being back on the road – though she assured the audience, there were more positives to this scenario than the original one.

Past the midway point of the performance, they paused for a minute to call out their opener Celisse – who had been a perfect lead-in for the energy of Lucius – to join them for “Dance Around It” off the new album. Earlier in the night Celisse had made some new fans in the audience with some awesome old-school guitar riffing and songs like “Help Me’“where she was playing both guitar and drums simultaneously. Lucius also called a couple of fans up on stage – fans who had clearly got the memo that sequins were appropriate attire for a Lucius show. As the song started, Celisse stood between the two lead singers and the three of them got everyone, especially the guests on stage, dancing to the poppy indie-disco jam.

When they re-emerged towards the end of the night to start their encore, the pair had done a complete wardrobe change into something that was somehow even more Stevie Nicks-like than their original outfits and sat on the step on the stage to sing “Two of Us on the Run,”  arguably their biggest single from their first album and careers. It was a nice moment of connection and there were points in the stripped down version of the song when the audience was able to sing along with them to further that connection. They rounded out an awesome encore with “Turn It Around” and a cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” which was perfectly suited to the style, aesthetic and vibe of the band, who have certainly embraced a bit of a spacey-disco sound with their new work. With their new album clearly being a bit of a departure from their older works, I’m certainly interested to see where they go in the coming years!
– Kyle Cadogan

Posted on by guestwriter in Concerts