Lenka with Greg Laswell
April 12, 2011
Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
Over the past few months, Detroit Bar has hosted superb national touring acts that have packed the parking lot. Tonight the turnout was no different for the Australian soulful pop fireplug, Lenka. Opening for vocally gifted young woman was the San Diego via Long Beach singer/songwriter, Greg Laswell. It's been almost two years since they last shared the lineup at Detroit Bar, and tonight the duo returns again to promote Lenka's new album, Two.
Laswell fed his charismatic wit and clever storylines to the audience
in a warm and honest way. In response, the girls giggled and batted
their lashes, unable to deny his charm. Prior to each rich folk tune,
Laswell captivated the congregation with entertaining explanations of
the lyrics, usually involving romance, heartbreak, or a moment of
enlightenment. He crooned each poetic anecdote with such ease and
flawless execution that it became difficult to look away from his
scruffy face. Laswell played a healthy set, followed by a brief encore,
and eventually bade his adoring fans goodnight.
When Lenka hit the stage, every detail of her performance was cute: her bandmates, the
decorations, her outfit, her dimples.
most interesting prop was her bulky synthesizer, attached to a
makeshift strap constructed from a hefty bit of duct tape and a
And whether she sang a soft whisper of a melody or a powerfully sustained
high note, Lenka hypnotized the listeners as she hit every pitch
perfectly. Her performance was undeniably energetic (as in her single “Heart Skips a Beat”), and her vocals were
impeccable. But the fact that she sang with a passion radiating
from the inside out gave her music a strong emotion that people
can genuinely connect with.
Despite her beautifully bashful persona,
Lenka radiated an alluring side that was brought out by the
presence of a drumbeat, bassline, guitar, and some keys. She combined a
perfect balance of seduction, passion, and true talent in her
performance, making it difficult to notice anything else.
Lenka showed that she is capable of producing hits and will definitely be around for years to come. For the finale of her encore, Lenka talked about one of her earliest songs, “The Show.” She joked, “We've only played it 5,000 times at the point!”
The crowd: Fairly full of mellow drinkers and young, intellectual women with a fondness for folk music and quirky female pop melodies.
Overheard by Greg Laswell: “I decided, I'll just lead by example.”
Don't Let Me Fall
You Will Be Mine
Everything At Once
Here to Stay