Lake Street Dive, the retro quartet that draws from ’60s jazz and ’70s pop music, transformed the Neptune Theatre into a warm and cozy nightclub Thursday, March 3. Lead singer Rachael Price nailed everything she touched.
A few years back, the Neptune Theatre was transformed from a movie theater to a concert hall. On Thursday, March 3, Lake Street Dive transformed it again, but into a decades-old nightclub.
That’s in part because the band’s retro sound hearkens back to both ’60s jazz and ’70s pop music. But it was also a literal transformation of the Neptune, with a mod purple stage backdrop and the kind of horizontal lights you see at a go-go club.
Lead singer Rachael Price could be a star in any room, in any decade or in any genre. Her sassy confidence on songs like “Saving All My Sinning” showed why the concert was sold out, and why this band is breaking. Her dancing and stage movements were also impressive, and fit into the nightclub theme.
Lake Street Dive met at the New England Conservatory when the four members were studying jazz, and their musicianship was high level. Guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson was impressive when he switched to trumpet on several songs, including Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass.”
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Bassist Bridget Kearney excelled on “Side Pony,” and even sported that hairstyle. Drummer Mike Calabrese ably kept the swing and made “Spectacular Failure” a spectacular success.
Price really is what makes Lake Street Dive stand out, however. “Mistakes” could have come from the Eartha Kitt songbook, with a sultry simmer, and Price sang it perfectly. She also wrote the song.
Price’s voice has a timeless quality, perhaps because of her jazz training. “Bad Self Portraits” was a pop song, but she sang it with the nuance you’d expect from a jazz chanteuse.
Her most impressive singing came on a surprising cover that ended the night. Usually Lake Street Dive ends concerts with a cover of Hall & Oates “Rich Girl,” but they passed that over on Thursday, and instead played Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Few singers would have the nerve to take on Freddie Mercury. Fewer still could do this classic justice.
Price nailed it, but then she nailed everything she sang all night. Whether on a concert stage, or in a former movie theater turned nightclub “dive” on Thursday night, Rachael Price is an undeniably great talent.