Last week Australian singer/songwriter Alex Lahey brought her new album The Best of Luck Club to the Troubadour, launching the beginning of her North American tour. Fresh off a successful set at Outside Lands 2019 a couple of days prior, Lahey kept the energy going with a fun night filled with infectiously catchy pop punk gems.
The twelve song set consisted mostly of songs off the new album, as well as a few older tracks including “Awkward Exchange” and “Lotto In Reverse” from 2017’s I Love You Like A Brother.
“You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me” had the crowd dancing and singing along. In 2016, the quirky upbeat song won Pitchfork’s Best New Track Award and undoubtedly helped propel the singer’s career.
The thing I dig most about Alex Lahey is how familiar her songs feel. Her lyrics flow naturally and most songs have sing along choruses you can remember after one listen. Many tracks tell stories of queer love. I always admire artists who are so open in their songwriting because, as small as it may seem to some people, it’s still a huge progress to celebrate queer romances and be properly represented. Artists such as Troye Sivan, Janelle Monae, and Tegan and Sara (to name a few) are vital in today’s music scene and I’m so happy to see the number of queer artists rising, with Lahey adding to it.
On “Black RMs” she sings “You deserve to know the way I feel/ When I watch you use your thighs to turn the steering wheel” a line that anyone who has had a crush can relate to. And btw, if you were curious what exactly an RM is, Lahey was polite enough to explain to the crowd “it’s a mid to top range leather boot made in Adelaide.”
Lahey was backed by a rockin’ all female band who helped bring the songs to life. Lahey shredded away on the guitar for most of the night but for “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself” she treated the crowd to a blaring sax solo. What was impressive about this was how she nonchalantly slung her guitar behind her back, picked up the sax and went to town, then continued singing in between, with both instruments in tow. Get it girl!
Lahey told the crowd she was happy to be in LA and that being here for just a couple of days, she already experienced- and embraced- the cliche. To elaborate, Lahey shared a story that had Overheard LA written all over it. Lahey giggled as she explained, “I was at a gig and I asked a woman I met, ‘So what brought you to the gig tonight?’ and she said- get this- ‘ I’m in the same Iowaska circle as someone in the support band but we’ve never met’.” Oh LA, you really ARE that cliche.
The night ended with two of Lahey’s most popular songs. She preceded “Every Day’s the Weekend,” by saying “I hate this song.” Clearly that was not the sentiment of the crowd as it sparked the biggest sing back of the night, with everyone shouting out the ‘woah oh oh oh’s’ as loud as they could. “I Haven’t Been Taking Care of Myself” packs a big chorus and heavy emotional punch and was the perfect send off to the night.
Words and photos by Betsy Martinez