Thursday night, St Lucia and Conway took to the stage for the second of two sold out shows at The Independent, and gave two of the most high energy performances I’ve seen at the Independent. St Lucia, who I have described to friends as “Imagine if Lionel Richie and Peter Gabriel had an electronic baby,” put on an incredible act both in terms of sound and showmanship.
Anchored by the amazing voice of Jean-Philip Grobler, St Lucia is a full-on assault on your senses. Grobler’s incredible vocal range pairs amazingly well with heavily 80’s influenced melodies and hard thrusting synth beats. From one moment to the next you experience sounds that remind you of classic acts from Lionel Richie, Duran Duran, New Order and many more. Grobler performs in front of a fan, which he commented is like performing in front of a vaporizer in San Francisco. St Lucia mostly played tracks like “Elevate” off the excellent 2013 release When the Night, but snuck in a cover and their popular single “Before the Dive” as well. Beyond the auditory experience, DJ Nicky Paul designed and built an amazing light strip that would change colors and patterns with the music.
Performing with Grober is an amazing band that knows how to get a crowd going and put on a real show -from getting the whole crowd jumping and singing along, to having the sound engineer join in from the balcony. I would be surprised if I saw them at a venue as small as the Independent the next time they tour San Francisco, but I will definitely be going to see them where ever they end up playing.
The opener Conway, or as she referred to herself “the girl in the red pants,” got the the night going with her own high energy set. How high energy? Lets just say mic stands were hitting the floor and snare drums were broken. While not as polished as St Lucia, Conway’s act had a fierce, in-your-face vibe which was what drew me to her EP Big Talk. She has a great sound, incredible stage presence and a few great songs in her pocket. I wouldn’t be surprised if she made the jump to headlining at The Independent in the next year.
Check out Conway’s EP Big Talk here
(Page 2 for pictures of Conway!)