LOS ANGELES, CA — It’s been said that once you’ve given LANY a listen, you’ll be sucked into their world — and that’s exactly what happened to me.

With fans built from the millennial generation and teenage girls decked out in LANY gear, the band — who formed in 2014 and released their first set of songs in 2015 — have built an incredibly devoted following in a  relatively short period of time. Fans, who are infamous for camping out early in the morning to get those coveted spots upfront, came in tides to the Hollywood Palladium Friday night, as the hometown band sold-out two consecutive nights — a very impressive for any young indie-pop band.

Comprised of dream-boy Paul Klein (vocals, piano, guitar), Les Priest (keyboards, guitar) and Jake Goss (drums), I first fell in love with the Los Angeles-based trio that is LANY two years ago when I discovered a tiny song called “pink skies” off their 2016 kinda EP.

As lead singer Paul candidly sang, “Talking under pink skies I think our hearts are starting to show / That it’s better you and I under pink skies,” I could feel my poor teenage heart swell. The song, laced in dreamy synths and lovestruck lyrics, stole my heart — and seems to resonate with fans across the world.

On night one, Paul took to the stage in complete awe.

“Los Angeles, this is our home,” Paul said. “We played our first show at the Sayers Club just three years ago and now we sold out two nights at the Palladium.” As the crowd roared, he continued, “Thank you for spending your Friday night with us. This is our favorite place to play.”

LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Photo by Rachel Ann Cauilan (@Rachelcansea) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Photo by Rachel Ann Cauilan (@Rachelcansea) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

As the opening drumbeats of “Thick and Thin,” an early favorite from their new album Malibu Nights, came on, the crowd squealed in anticipation. The band made their entrance, with an incredible light show and static backdrop reminiscent of an old black-and-white television set with the words “LANY” and “MALIBU NIGHTS” behind them.

“Out the door, just one mistake
You say you’re not in love no more
But was it really love if you can leave me for
Something so innocent?
Is this the end?
Thought you’d be there through thick and thin”

The synth-pop ballad, full of electronic drumbeats, reverberating synths and cool guitars that describe the feeling of confusion after a breakup, was hypnotizing. As Paul danced across the stage, engaging with fans and interacting with the millennial crowd (mostly teen girls and shameless fanboys), the crowd sang every lyric back.

The band’s fast-rising success is nothing to brush over. Their penchant for sensitive R&B meets mainstream pop told through “sad boy” romance ballads is highly due to the massive charisma of the band (and poster child Paul Klein, if we have to be honest). Their two-tier stage setup and visuals is a big upgrade for the band: Paul was fixed upfront on one tier with his piano and guitar, as the second elevated tier was kept for multi-instrumentalist Les Priest, drummer Jake Goss, and touring musician Giuliano Pizzulo.

LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Photo by Rachel Ann Cauilan (@Rachelcansea) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Photo by Rachel Ann Cauilan (@Rachelcansea) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

LANY has had a wild early career: they’ve toured with Troye Sivan, X Ambassadors, Halsey and John Mayer; their devout following has brought them all across the world, playing over 350 live shows; their self-titled debut album released last year tied for the highest-charting debut album on Billboard‘s Top Rock Albums; then the band spent the beginning of this year creating their second album, while playing a slate of Main Stage performances at Coachella, the Governors Ball and Bonnaroo with their own headlining tour.

Still, you can’t help but love the LANY live show experience.

With a particular charm and swagger, Paul vibed with the crowd, throwing his hands in the air, grabbing his guitar and falling down, only then to take to the keyboard. The pure joy and love for performing oozed from the band — and you can tell these boys have a lot of fun live.

LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Setlist.
LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Setlist.

They followed with songs like “Good Girls” from last year’s highly-anticipated debut album — a fun synth tune with catchy 808 drum beats, tight guitars and pop hooks from Paul. They then threw it back to their first EP I Loved You. with “4EVER!,” a song full of their trademark 80’s-inspired sound with tight electronic beats, a trash-can sounding hi-hat and hand claps with Paul equipped with his electric guitar. They then went into kinda‘s “yea, babe, no way” as the crowd sang back the innocently sweet lyrics, “White jeans, daydream / You and me, our sheets / Wearing nike / Kissing, no sleep.”

Throughout the 90-minute show, the band went through their catalogue of slow morning-after heartbreakers “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore” and “Taking Me Back.” Paul was visibly nostalgic when playing songs like “pink skies,” putting his hands up in defeat saying, “You’re perfect,” to the crowd, and “Made In Hollywood” from 2015’s Make Out, a personal favorite of mine, which got the crowd jumping and moving through euphoric choruses.

Last year’s “The Breakup,” with its cool muted guitar lick and powerful chorus (“You think you wanna be, you wanna be alone / Just wait until you’re crying on the shower floor”), broke everyone’s heart as Paul paints a beautifully dizzying portrait of the painful mess and honest truth after a breakup (Paul even choked up, singing, “How the hell do you stay in love? You’re at dinner looking down playing with your knife and fork,” and adding a convincing, “Yeah I’m done with that, I’m done with that”). A lighter moment happened with “Super Far,” the mid-tempo electronic hit which had scenes from their music video playing behind them, which featured the boys dancing in cheeky synchronized seriousness.

LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Photo by Rachel Ann Cauilan (@Rachelcansea) for www.BlurredCulture.com.
LANY @ Hollywood Palladium 10/26/18. Photo by Rachel Ann Cauilan (@Rachelcansea) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

When they played “Thru These Tears,” the first single off Malibu Nights towards the end of their set, the boys provided a beautiful yet much-needed break during their set.

The song, which Paul described was written during “the worst 45 days of my life,” paints a beautiful and moving portrait of hope amid heartbreak:

“In the end I’m gonna be alright
But it might take a hundred sleepless nights
To make the memories of you disappear
But right now I can’t see nothing through these tears”

It’s been rumored that a lot of their newer material arises from Paul’s previous relationship with U.K. pop star Dua Lipa. But, beside the fact, the trio fittingly closed their encore with their standout breakout hit “ILYSB” — the song that changed the course of LANY’s career forever. Confetti blew out into the crowd and colorful lights shone as Paul encouraged the crowd to sing-along, saying, “Come on, I know you know the lyrics.”

With songs full of romantic melodies and epic anthems, full of catchy synths and pop hooks, LANY has created a captivating collection of tender love songs and ballads that make you feel young, in love and heartbroken all over again. Their music speaks for the millennial generation, and with an eye for aesthetics and a heart for pop, LANY is just starting out.

On the heels of the release of their second LP Malibu Nights and a career that only promises to be a success, this moment in LANY’s career is monumental.

“This song and the others on ‘Malibu Nights’ are pieces of music and art that i have dreamt of making since I was a kid,” Paul wrote on Instagram this year. “We’ve pushed ourselves to the absolute limit, dug deeper than ever before, and come out with something so pure and honest and powerful. i’m proud of us.”

LANY is set to embark on another World Tour in 2019 — and I don’t even know what to expect from their coming world domination. But one thing’s for sure: their cool electronic bops and trendy millennial following will only continue to grow.

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