Brooklyn’s “St. Lucia” is one of those acts that found its way onto our radar over the past year and has been pinging our hearts with synth-laden blips ever since. From the moment we laid ears on Jean-Philip Grobler’s debut album ‘When The Night’ we were entranced by the atmospheric melodies, 80’s infused synthesizers, and the can’t-help-but-to-dance-along catchy hooks and lyrics.
The supporting tour is riddled with sold-out dates but none that we were more excited for than the first night which kicked off (with a sold-out show) on Monday, January 13th, right here in Philadelphia at World Cafe Live.
As expected, the venue was already packed to the gills with hipsters when we entered World Cafe Live. The opening band, “Panama Wedding” had already wrapped up their set and a heavy anticipation for the headliners hung in the air. Within a few minutes of our arrival, the lights dimmed, the audience cheered, and St. Lucia took the stage.
Concealed in a haunting darkness, St. Lucia opened with ‘The Night Comes Again’, the lead track from ‘When The Night’. It didn’t take long for the darkness to give way to neon lights, and for the slow-tempo of the opening number to progress into the more upbeat ‘The Old House is Gone’ from St. Lucia’s 2012 self-titled EP. When the opening synth stanza from their third number, ‘Closer Than This’, began to play, cheers rang out, and the hipster dance party was in full effect.
Much like Trent Reznor is a one-man act that uses a band when performing live, Grobler employs a backing four-person band for his shows. We don’t know whether he hand picked each member or not; what we do know is that the chemistry they have together is befitting of the sounds and smiles they fill the venue with.
‘Wait For Love’ was up next. The song, that just as easily could have been written and performed by Passion Pit, is one of our personal favorites and had us grooving almost hard enough to forget about the horribly rude hipster in front of us whose dance moves infringed upon our personal space and nerves until we finally moved away from her half way through the show.
The show progressed nicely, with few surprises but plenty of highlights. As St. Lucia’s catalog is still somewhat limited, we pretty much knew what songs we would hear but the live versions added new tempos and nuances that were unexpected (as was a cover version of Chaka Khan’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’).
After leaving to a loud round of applause, the band returned to the stage for a two song encore that concluded with the album’s title track, ‘When The Night’.
We loved every minute of this show! If you have a chance to catch St. Lucia’s stop in your city, don’t hesitate. If that isn’t isn’t an option, pick up ‘When The Night’ and have an 80’s themed dance party in your living room.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view the complete set-list as well as additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):
The Night Comes Again
The Old House Is Gone
Closer Than This
Wait For Love
We Got It Wrong
All Eyes On You
Ain’t Nobody (Chaka Khan cover)
(Brief drum solo)
The Way You Remember Me
When The Night