This past Friday, three indie alt-pop acts — Lostboycrow, joan, and flor — came together at The Club at Stage AE. Despite the three performances being within the same genre, each had an individual take. Lostboycrow was whimsical and full of narrative, joan was danceable and upbeat, and flor was more conventional modern alt-pop.
The Club is a smaller section of Stage AE with a bar, a tight crowd space, and a small stage. This was my first time seeing a performance in this part of the venue, but I’m certain it won’t be the last. The crowd energy felt more concentrated, and both the smaller space and audience size made the concert feel more intimate.
Lostboycrow (Chris Danks) was first on the set. He performed a handful of songs from his latest release, Santa Fe, as well as a couple of older releases like “Devil’s in the Backseat” and “Adolescent.” His performance embodied his stage name, which is inspired by the Crow Nation’s tale of the lost boy. The nation’s ancestors’ philosophy “believed the greatest accomplishment one could achieve was to dream. Seek a vision for your life that would help those around you.” This inspires how he presents his art. His ethereal sound and poetic lyrics make it sound more like he’s telling a story rather than simply producing music.
Out of the three performances, Lostboycrow’s surprised me the most. In the studio, his voice sounds more “chill,” almost more subdued. However, on stage, his voice was much more powerful and captivating. It felt like he was crooning, yet his energy and voice overpowered the venue. His music was the one I was most acquainted with, yet his performance was the one that I was the most mystified with.
Next up was the duo, joan (Alan Thomas and Steven Rutherford). The ‘80s inspired synth-pop encapsulates the best part of the ‘80s: catchy choruses, poppy synth beats galore. Even their name ties with the ‘80s theme. Neither is named Joan; the two simply picked the name because the name was common in the ‘80s. If I had to explain the band, I would say that it’s most reminiscent of The 1975. Their act made me almost want to bring back leg warmers. Almost.
Flor ended the show with a bang. The band sonically sounded just like they did in their recordings, but the live performance gave their songs a kick that no recording could pick up. They bounced back and forth from their two albums, come out. you’re hiding and ley lines, the latter which just dropped earlier this month. Their part of the show was definitely the flashiest of them all in more ways than one. The band incorporated lights that seemed to flash per drum beat which was fun at first but became overwhelming later in the show. I didn’t mind too much, given that the synergy of the band and crowd was so intense that it almost matched up.
After the show, all three groups were available for a quick meet-and-greet, signing tickets and taking photos with the concert attendees. Ones to Watch, a platform for emerging artists, put their stamp of approval on flor when they decided to present the band, and I’m ecstatic to see what comes next for them and their opening acts. Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with flor!