Concert Review: Alex Lahey @ U Street Music Hall (8/22/19)

Alex Lahey
Alex Lahey (Photo from FB @alexlaheymusic)

“I always come to DC on my tours. You have a proper Capitol city. Have you ever heard of Canberra?’ – Alex Lahey

“It’s always a fucking treat to be in DC!” So, we know Alex Lahey, who performed at U Street Music Hall on August 22nd, likes DC. But what do we think of her?

Pretty good. Pretty, pretty good. The robust DC crowd had a fine time enjoying Alex’s vibrant rock songs, with a few jam sessions thrown in for good measure, and even a singing breather where Alex busted out a saxophone.

Alex and band kicked off the evening with “I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore”, where she broke down one chord with an open mouth guitar shred. Then came “Am I Doing It Right”, with its super-catchy chorus, about the musician lifestyle and the impacts it has on friends and family. Who knows how the lifestyle is supposed to work?

I’d say, from a musical standpoint at least, Alex is doing it right so far. From Melbourne, Australia, she just released her second album, The Best of Luck Club, and she spent a lot of time getting us up to speed on its bonafides, performing 8 of the 10 songs from the album (and 13 total) in just over an hour.

Later came “Interior Demeanour”, speaking to our inner turmoils, which picks up nicely from its slow droning groove, into a kick-ass track that the crowd got rocking to joyfully. Likely the best song of the night, but there were still many good ones.

Alex is on a brief 17-date tour in North America, before she returns to Australia for more shows.

Her all-women backing band is comprised of two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and keys, and from my standpoint they all performed superbly.

For “Unspoken History”, the band, save for the keyboardist, left the stage and Alex led us on a soaring, chill-inducing ballad, about not wanting someone to leave, but they’ll never know.

Near the end of the set “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself” is really the motto of our age, a message we can all take heed of. And as a bonus, Alex brought out the aforementioned saxophone and jazzed the place up a bit.

Alex ended the night with a great rendition of “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself”, from her first album I Love You Like a Brother, which she previously played for DC in 2017.

There was no encore because U Street Music Hall had a late DJ set scheduled for 10:30pm. But everyone enjoyed themselves (presumably), and streamed out into the overcast evening with a song in their heart. Now everyone should get themselves a fresh copy of The Best of Luck Club, and hope Alex returns sooner than later!

Setlist
I Don’t Get Invited to Parties Anymore
Am I Doing It Right
Awkward Exchange
Black RMs
Interior Demeanour
I Want to Live with You
Unspoken History
Lotto in Reverse
You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me
Misery Guts
Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
Every Day’s the Weekend
I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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