Lucius delivers to Salt Lake City • Salt Lake Magazine

Lucius brought the glamor and glitz to Salt Lake City on Saturday night. In a stadium-like performance, their show at the Commonwealth Room on Nov. 12, 2022, featured lights, costume changes and an indie pop beat that, in another world, fans would watch on a jumbotron from their blood-bleeding seats. $200 nose. Instead, the packed house of The Commonwealth Room got an intimate view of a well-choreographed musical experience.

Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, the two lead singers, appeared on stage in their signature pairing wardrobes. In flowing, sparkly red dresses and braided hair, they went into full disco mode with two new songs “Second Nature” and “Next To Normal.” They took us back to 1977 and the good old days of Studio 54 (thankfully minus the coke-induced mania in the toilet). Too bad the Commonwealth disco ball couldn’t keep up.

After some energetic dance numbers, Wolfe and Laessig unleashed their vocal magic. Singing in unison on the same pitch, their voices created a rich and haunting wall of sound. The product wasn’t exactly harmony (although they started using harmony in their new work). Instead, they created what they call their “third voice”. Their locked voices filled the room with “Dusty Trails”. A major highlight of the show (in a show filled with great moments) was their performance of their 2022 release, “The Man I’ll Never Find”. This song is as good, if not better, than any track on the charts. Hearing them perform live, in such a close and intimate space, was magical.

Lucius performed at the Commonwealth Room in Salt Lake City, Nov. 12, 2022. Photo by Alisha Gregson courtesy of The State Room Presents

To add more fun, they invited the audience to participate, teaching us some campy dance moves (think “Macarena”) to go along with their song, “Heartbursts.” I felt underdressed with no glitz or sequins. Luckily, others, better equipped in sparkling jackets and glittering eye makeup, joined us. Towards the end of the performance and during a light show, Wolfe and Laessig left the stage and reappeared in the middle of the audience wearing matching silver sequined outfits. They asked the crowd around them to sit on the ground while they sang “Two of Us On the Run”. They transformed the Commonwealth Room from a nightclub into an old-fashioned folk revival. With the audience gathered around them on the floor in a large circle, Lucius filled the room with a stirring sense of place.

Their grand finale was a time-traveling medley that included a funkified version of “Turn It Around” and an ethereal rendition of Donna Summer’s 1977 disco dance hit “I Feel Love.” Most bands have an act. Lucius has a show. Seeing such a well-orchestrated live performance in a small venue like The Commonwealth Room felt like a rare treat. In effect. See them while you still can. I suspect Lucius is headed for big arenas and jumbotrons in the near future. I’m just grateful that I got to see them at a time when I could get close enough to see their shimmering eye shadow.

Abraham Alexander opened the show with “Out of Me,” a Spanish guitar-style song he has yet to record. The son of Nigerian immigrant parents, he captivated crowds with stories of his young life in Greece and his move to Texas at the age of 11. Alexander is a rising artist. The public was happy to serve as a beta test for its new hardware. His irrepressible sincerity drew them in and sang along with his single “Stay” (the record features Gary Clark Jr. on guitar). He then delivered a bluesy, acoustic rendition of Chris Issac’s “Wicked Games.” He coaxed many sounds from his acoustic guitar and his powerful bluesy voice dominated the space. He performed half a dozen numbers, some available on streaming services, others to be released soon. He is an artist to follow. I suspect he will be a headliner in the near future.

Special thanks to KRCL for sponsoring this fabulous event. If you were lucky enough to experience the Lucius show, share your video and photos with the world on social media.

Social feeds: @stateroompresents, @ilovelucius, @slmag, @abrahamalexander, @krclradio, Tags: #feelslikesecondnaturetour, #slmag and read more about John Nelson’s music coverage.


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About James K. Bonnette

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