By Jillian Harrington, Contributing Writer
Australian artist Alex Lahey flew halfway around the world for the American leg of her tour “I Love You Like a Brother,” playing The Music Hall of Williamsburg last Thursday. Her fast-paced punk-indie rock invited the entire crowd to dance and sing along, providing for an effortlessly captivating night.
Openers Nervous Dater from Brooklyn and Dude York from Seattle had just as much fun, both amongst themselves on-stage and with the crowd. They established early on the interactive community that would intensify during Lahey’s set. With this lively atmosphere, Lahey and her band began their set with their popular hit “Every Day’s the Weekend” from last month’s debut album “I Love You Like a Brother.” Lahey chatted with the crowd in between songs, sharing stories from previous shows and expressing her amazement and gratitude for the people before her – this being the largest show scheduled for this tour.
Throughout the entire performance, Lahey maintained and controlled the attention of her audience. With her hooks often easy enough to pick up by the second chorus, at points the whole crowd was singing in time with Lahey to songs such as “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself” and “Lotto In Reverse.” She also switched things up mid-show with a creative twist on 90’s favorite “Torn” as popularized by Natalie Imbruglia. Even if fans hadn’t known the lyrics to Lahey’s own songs, many knew this one in particular and the room radiated this shared energy.
Lahey began the encore with a solo version of “There’s No Money” with just a backing drum beat and her electric guitar to accompany her own bright voice. This song was an impressive performance, highlighting not only her voice but her skill and familiarity with her instrument as well. Finally, the band capped the night with a spirited “You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” – and the crowd moved accordingly.
Going straight from her performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers to this Brooklyn show, Alex Lahey is quickly making a name for herself with the success from her album – and deservedly so. Thanks to her catchy, attention-grabbing lyrics and strong, anthemic instrumentals that make dancing hard to resist, Lahey is perfectly suited for live, intimate shows. The crowd enjoyed her music, and it was obvious that she appreciated them back, visibly moved at the end of her set and encore.
With a fresh, instantly likeable sound and the evident technical talent to support and individualize her music, this is only the beginning for Lahey. As her fanbase within the US continues to grow, it will be interesting to follow the music she will produce.