Lydia / Seahaven / Turnover - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Lydia / Seahaven / Turnover

live in Allston (2015)

live show

Lydia brought out a pair of very solid openers for this tour that really complemented their sappy sound, which ranges from delicate, emotive indie to car commercial-ready synthpop to effects pedal-laden post-rock twinkles. Opener the Technicolors I wasn't as familiar with--they were just wrapping up when I got to the venue. I didn't catch enough to get a proper impression, but it doesn't seem insane to simply call them a modern rock'n'roll band, really. It certainly sounded like the energy was there.

Turnover followed with their brand of emo-influenced dream pop. I've seen them a couple times this year already supporting their latest, excellent album, Peripheral Vision (which is strictly what they play from currently), and this was as good as any. Some of the shoegazier textures from the record are sort of absent live, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. I've heard them described as "emo Beach House," a reputation fairly accurate on record but hard to live up to live; at this point in their rather interesting progression (these guys were playing pretty generic pop-punk just four years ago) they remind me more of early '90s, rock-driven dream pop bands like the Ocean Blue. It's good stuff, and everything sounded in tune and on point for their half-hour set as much of the crowd sang along.

Set list (7:46-8:13):

  1. Hello Euphoria

  2. Dizzy on the Comedown


  3. New Scream


  4. I Would Hate You If I Could


  5. Humming

  6. Cutting My Fingers Off

There was a surprising amount of turnover in the crowd as they finished, with some scuttling up to fill in the blanks towards the front of the floor. The reaction was decently strong, as you could hear people singing along throughout the set. They were pretty solid musically, though singer/guitarist Kyle Soto's vocals always tend to be a little weird and off--not enough to ruin things by any means, granted. The band pulled from their two full-lengths, with four from 2014's Reverie Lagoon: Music for Escapism Only, easily one of my favorite albums from last year. Though they unfortunately skipped over devastating standouts from that LP like "Love to Burn" and "On the Floor," it seemed it was in favor of keeping the set a little heavier, almost coming off as an unintentional response to Turnover's dreamier introduction. Granted, there were dynamics, from the atmospheric interludes between most songs to the electronic drumkit splashes for the murmuring verses of "Wild West Selfishness". They even treated the crowd to a new song, "Lost", which sounded a little more laid back and emotionally calm than much of Reverie Lagoon. Definitely not bad, though. I have to imagine the title is just a little bit inspired by the beloved television series of the same name, given that one of the members has a pretty visible tattoo of the Dharma Initiative logo on his arm. A quick little on-stage marriage proposal from one fan to his partner followed before the band closed things out with 2011's Winter Forever lead single, the popular "Goodnight".

Set list (8:34-9:14):

  • It's Over

  • Flesh

  • Wild West Selfishness

  • Silhouette (Latin Skin)

  • Black & White

  • Andreas


  • Lost [new]


  • Goodnight

    I was an expecting an early night with Lydia going on about 9:30 and having just played a solid hour one of the last times I saw them at this very venue, but they tacked on another 20 minutes for a set that really spanned their whole catalog. The stage setup was visually enticing for those into that sort of thing, probably meant to look like a nighttime scene: some Chinese lantern-looking things propped up on cylinders for moons (sure, it's plural in this scene), and some white Christmas mini-lights representing stars.

    Leighton Antelman, frontman and lone remaining original member, exhibited more of his character than ever, barefoot and smiling and swaying around, fully loosened up. So much so, in fact, he kept pulling away from the mic during opener "Past Life" to the point that his voice would just cut in and out. He settled in a bit after that, though, leading the charge (occasionally with guitar in hand) with more consistent vocals, though he didn't have to at certain intervals, since the crowd was more than willing to help out. There was some interactive banter, too, adding to the relative intimacy of the 476-cap venue, including a friendly jab at someone offering up an extra ticket to this show (what good would it have done anyone in here?).

    The now-sold out venue was witness to a set that included a song from just about every release the band's put out, and they have a few. They went heaviest on their latest two albums, the brand new Run Wild and 2013's Devil, as well as 2008's fan favorite Illuminate (which they did a six-year anniversary--I guess?--tour for last year). There was even a track each off their first album, 2005's This December, It's One More and I'm Free, and their underrated 2010 EP Assailants (the closing title track finished the show, though I would've preferred the more aching "We Clean Up So Well" at some point). Admittedly, I haven't heard Run Wild yet, but the songs sounded pretty good live, even if I prefer the more post-rock-y or tense indie rock stuff over the easiergoing, poppier moments. Two songs played in close quarters reflected that sort of emotional dynamic they do pretty well: There was Devil's folk-poppy "We'll Never Die", which I can easily imagine played at some huge festival; two songs later, for the quietly desperate "One More Day", they changed it up refreshingly with louder, tenser guitars, and brought out one of the guitarists from the Technicolors for a solo.

    By the time the band came out for an encore, I stepped back and noticed the venue was actually kind of half full now, which might just speak well to the growing draw Seahaven and Turnover might be pulling as they slowly, respectively grow. But it wasn't necessarily an embarrassing walkout by any means.

    Lydia has always sprawled out on a miscalleneous mix of dream pop, indie rock, emo, post-rock and more radio-friendly pop inclinations, and this set was another fine example of that interesting willingness to skirt genre lines and adapt to any of those styles quite well.

    Set list (9:36-10:46):

    1. Past Life


    2. Hospital

    3. Do You Remember


    4. Holidays

    5. A Fine Evening for a Rogue


    6. Riverman

    7. The Exit


    8. We'll Never Die


    9. Coffee Drips


    10. One More Day


    11. All I See


    12. This Is Twice Now


    13. When It Gets Dark Out


    14. Hurry Back Tonight


    15. Always Move Fast


    16. Back to Bed


    17. Knee Deep

      Encore (10:47-10:57):

    18. Late Nights


    19. Assailants