Lydia / From Indian Lakes - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Lydia / From Indian Lakes

live in Allston (2013)

live show

Parking in Allston, MA, on this particular Saturday night was quite a shitshow. So much so, in fact, that I could really only catch two of the bands playing this lineup: off-again/on-again indie pop darlings Lydia and alternative/indie upstarts From Indian Lakes. The time between was needed to move my car into a legal spot, having been imposed by 2-hour limitations.

I managed to get into Brighton Music Hall just as From Indian Lakes were presumably starting their second song (and, now noticing their set list, it was most likely "Anything," the opening track of their newest album, Able Bodies). I had checked these guys out last year after an endless stream of hype AbsolutePunk had built for their sophomore full-length (Able Bodies), and what do you know? It was great. The quintet play a melodic and catchy kind of alternative/indie rock I wouldn't hesitate to compare to someone like Manchester Orchestra, with compelling flow, carefully dark shades of emotional anguish and some finger-tapping moments here and there. So, yeah, I was pretty excited to catch them live for the first time. They were a predictably young band (three of them flanked along each other and donned in plaid button-ups, were probably not even aware of it) but played considerably tight and seemed to hit all the right notes. Their set consisted entirely of tracks from Able Bodies, which was good as I'm not familiar with their first album, and great because they played most of Able Bodies' standout songs.

Set list (7:45?-8:16):

We Are Sick
Breaking My Bones
I Don't Know You
Stay Outside
Your Son
'Till I Can Walk

After watching a little bit of Matrimony (the singer reminded me of one of the Quin twins, notably) I returned to the venue after re-parking just in time to catch the entirety of Lydia's concise set: a short, solid hour that left one leaving wanting just a little more, in the good way. The crowd was pretty young, with underage girls at the front periodically screaming as if Bieber was on stage. Weird stuff. Strung-up lights above the stage gave the set a nice, modest outdoor patio vibe despite the radio-friendly chiming of newer songs like "The Exit" and "Devil" (both from their album of the same name, Devil) and a strangely evil, ambient intro that played over the PA as they came on stage (with another evil segue between "Knee Deep" and "I Woke Up Near the Sea"). None of it should have made any visual or aural sense together, but it didn't throw the set off much (although the bass, played by Sweet Talker's Kevin Fisher [who opened the show] was wayyyyy too loud on several songs, starting with "Best Nights"; we're talking filling-rattling throbs that should have taken anyone with ears out of the moment for a blip). Frontman and central songwriter Leighton Antelman was his usual self, with his bashful smirking and conversational gesticulations while he sang. I'm still not sure if it's a put-on or what, but it's something that is squarely part of his character and musical personality by this point. While it would have been nice to hear Assailants standout "We Clean Up So Well," closing with fan favorite "Hospital" was much appreciated–it contains the best chorus in the band's catalog for sure.

Lydia's certainly not for everyone: Devil is definitely polished, even for a band I'd have previously described as pretty soft-sounding already. But if you dig on this kind of melodic, delicate indie pop, it seems that Antelman has weathered lineup changes and sketchy hiatuses well enough to still write some pleasant tunes and play overall good live sets.

Set list (9:47-10:40):

This Is Twice Now
The Exit
Best Nights
Dragging Your Feet in the Mud
Knee Deep
I Woke Up Near the Sea
Back to Bed
A Place Near the City
Take Your Time
A Fine Evening for a Rogue
Encore (10:42-10:47):