The Fillmore Philadelphia has definitely seen its fair share of over-the-top fans. This past Monday was no exception. Beginning at 7 a.m., fans of the American indie-pop band LANY were camped out in a parking lot adjacent to the venue. Vying for a spot against the barricade, they sat in 90 degree heat waiting for a show that would start nearly 12 hours later. To some, their dedication may seem crazy — but to these teenagers, the exhaustion was worth it — and I was interested to see why.
LANY, stemming from Los Angeles, consists of three members: Paul Klein on lead vocals, Les Priest on keyboards and guitar and Jake Goss on drums. After releasing their new album “Malibu Nights” this past October, LANY embarked on their first world tour, which began in February and continues through August. Luckily, they decided to put a stop in Philadelphia on their list.
My own connection to LANY started around two years ago, listening to one of their first EPs, titled “Make Out,” on the beach. I enjoyed the driving-down-the-pacific-coast-highway-with-your-windows-rolled-down vibe their music gave off, but something about their sound didn’t feel substantial enough. Maybe that’s because I was still getting over my One Direction fan high or because I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate the complexity of the instruments backing the track or the lyrics that supplement them. Despite this, I continued to listen and became a fan. Subsequently, when I had the opportunity to see them live, I happily jumped on it.
When I entered the venue, their stage design immediately encapsulated me. Consisting of a primarily all-clear design, I knew that pleasing visuals were in store for the audience. The design was fairly simple, with two platforms on either side of the stage and a large one at the back which held their instruments. A lone, clear piano sat on the left side, which I figured would be Klein’s. This was different — a design I had never seen done before — and it gave me a good feeling about what was to come.
The lights went dark and piercing screams echoed through the hall, bringing me back to my pre-teen One Direction days. LANY began with a song from their most recent album, the leading track “Thick And Thin.” Klein strutted out on to the stage, commanding it with immense energy. The teenage girls gushed over him, and for good reason. Handsome, talented and flirtatious with his audience, Klein embodies the teenage heartthrobs who came before him. He single-handedly worked the crowd through the song and the entirety of the concert. He even jumped down into the audience for a single song without any security. Quite honestly, his stage presence was one of the finest I have ever seen.
Around five songs later, they began “Made In Hollywood,” a song from their EP “Make Out.” The clear set, which had been transitioning through colors and videos during the past songs, transitioned into a blend of pink and orange, a beautiful sunset visual. This was the most beautiful the crowd had seen, as they erupted into a chorus of “Oh” and “Ah.” The outstanding visuals continued through hits “Pink Skies,” where clouds appeared, “Hericane” which transitioned into a dark red and “Malibu Nights,” as a dark purple starry sky.
After briefly going off before their encore, LANY finished their set with “Thru These Tears,” “Parents” and, finally, “ILYSB.” Klein looked overwhelmed with emotion and thanked the crowd for their support. LANY’s music itself is incredible, but a LANY show is pure art. The visuals, music and crowd combined all make for an immersive, unforgettable concert experience one would not want to miss, and one I would unquestionably camp in 90 degree heat for.