Lydia with Valise, All Get Out, and Look Mexico – The Loft in Dallas, TX on October 9, 2011
Arriving at the venue, I knew All Get Out were opening for Lydia, which excited me as I’d been casually listening to their debut record, The Season. However, I had not yet heard the other two opening acts: Valise and Look Mexico.
I’d heard part of Valise’s sound check, which made me incredibly interested in their set, as they definitely had vibes of Circa Survive. Sure enough, the guys were rather unforgettable – especially for just an opening band. With their stunning vocals and solid instrumentation, Valise definitely turned heads throughout the venue. The highlight track was the ethereal “Monster,” as the vocalist absolutely dominated the closer. For fans of Circa or Tides of Man, I highly recommend checking out Valise’s EP, Dreamcatcher.
Up next was All Get Out. Having only casually given The Season a few spins prior to the show, I can honestly say I was floored by their set. Full of raw, rapid energy, the guys cranked up the music to full speed and played their hearts out. Channeling shades of Andy Hull, vocalist Nathan Hussey was a powerhouse on the stage. It was all fast and all fun, with All Get Out easily being the most energetic group of the night. That is not to say it wasn’t poignant and intimate at times, as “Let Me Go” was stunning. Better than they are on the record even, this was a band that really knew what they were doing – let alone how to amp up the crowd.
Look Mexico was the last of the three openers. With a sound similar to All Get Out, these guys were enjoyable, although not nearly as memorable as the other two bands. Matt Agrella could definitely hold his ground live, as the show was generally entertaining. However, at this point, the hype for Lydia was built to a max; the crowd was amped and ready to be amazed.
My Lydia fandom is hardly a secret around here, so it’s safe to say I couldn’t wait for their set – not to mention it was my first time seeing them live. It was everything I’d hoped for and more, with the intimate setting, lighting, and rain beating down on the windows creating a truly perfect atmosphere for their set. The crowd fit perfectly with the setting, singing along to every song of the night. Antelman stood alone while he played a stunning cover of “Stand By Me,” which in itself was a wonderful surprise. They played a splendid mixture of all of their material, even playing old fan favorite December cuts such as “December” and “It’s In Your Blood.” Still, for most of us, it was the striking beauty of the Illuminate choices, namely “Hospital” into “Stay Awake,” that were just…dazzling. The intimacy of the set and venue added such texture and atmosphere to Lydia’s set, making the show more than I could have hoped for.
When the show ended, Craig and Leighton stuck around to chat with fans and do signings, making the night all the more personal. From the great discovery of Valise through the final moments of “Smile, You’ve Won,” the night was absolutely spectacular. It’s hard to believe Lydia had been away for a year, as they played to perfection. All in all, it was everything I could have hoped for in a Lydia show and more. I cannot recommend catching this tour more if it comes to a location near you.