Boston's sleek soul rockers Lake Street Dive rolled into Raleigh's Red Hat Amp. for a festive Friday full of cool tunes and warm vibes to wrap up the week. As the opening night of a highly anticipated tour with The Wood Brothers, and with their new album "Free Yourself Up" cracking the top 10 for the first time in their 15-year history, there was a giddy excitement in the crowd and on stage.
The Wood Brothers opened the show with their singular take on rootsy folk and blues, digging deep into meaty versions of songs including Jimmy Reed's laborer's lament "Big Boss Man," the classic weekend anthem "I Got Loaded", and their own sweet and sentimental melodic masterpiece "Postcards From Hell." Brothers Oliver on guitar and Chris on bass joined with multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix on drums, keyboards & more to create a joyous energy emanating through the speakers into the warm evening air.
A brief rainshower cleaned the palate and paved the way for Lake Street Dive to take the stage with their funky neo-R&B inclinations on full display. Opening with the sultry "Neighbor Song", the animated set included classics like the poignant "Jameson" and the mighty "Seventeen." The addition of touring keyboardist and powerhouse vocalist Akie Bermiss added a new layer of glossy goodness to their sunny sound.
The Wood Brothers returned to join the fun on Sly Stone's eternal "Everyday People", with everyone gathered around one mic at the front of the stage, blending voices together with the audience as eager backup singers. Their latest hit "Good Kisser" transmitted an electric charge through the crowd, and the potent double encore of the epically catchy "Bad Self Portraits" and Hall & Oates' fan favorite "Rich Girl" sent the spirit into overdrive. Though quite different in sound and approach, these two acts proved a compelling combination, sending the dancing masses into the weekend with huge smiles and sleepy feet.
- Paul Kerr
- Photos by Jerry Friend