Concert Review: Laveda @ No Fun, 1/21/2023

TROY – There are some bands that are so good it doesn’t matter what particular genre they play or who they’re influenced by, what their sound is, etc.  Everyone can appreciate them because they’re just so (for lack of a better term) good.  

This is certainly the case with Laveda.  The band bills themselves as “dream pop” and also shoegaze (terms which are related and difficult to separate most of the time).  The “recommended if you like” bands would probably be along the lines of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive.  Which turns a lot of people off, especially old shoegaze fans and purists.  It’s also a pretty well-trodden genre in the past ten years in the hipster dens of Brooklyn, and therefore really difficult to break into or stand out in, given the levels of competition.  

Laveda’s “A Place You Grew Up In” cover art

But like I said, none of that really seemed to matter.  At least not last last Saturday night, where Laveda played Troy’s No Fun in support of their new single “Clean” off of their second album “A Place You Grew Up in,” set for release some time this spring.  By the time Laveda took the stage (after excellent sets by both Bruiser and Bicycle and Bleary Eyed), the club was packed to the brim and the show was definitely sold out.  And, being sort of a hipster/scenester myself, I was rather surprised not to recognize the vast majority of the people at the show.  I mean most local bands have local audiences made up of other people in bands, other scenesters, and in general people in the music “scene” (I don’t say business b/c come on, none of us make any real money these days).  But Saturday night was full of all kinds of different people, every one of them unable to conceal their excitement as Laveda took the stage.  

Laveda’s been playing around Nippertown for over four years now, and while in my experience they’ve never had a small show, this one was huge.  And the best part was the appreciation the audience obviously had for the band, eagerly awaiting the band, knowing every song other than the new one, cheering and clapping with an enthusiasm you rarely see for local bands (I overheard just about everyone in the crowd saying to each other between tracks ‘this band is SOO good, right?!).  It just feels like Laveda is one of if not the biggest local bands around, and the area has taken note.  

Whether they’re into dream pop or shoegaze, whether they’re hipsters or just twenty-somethings looking for good local music, Laveda is appreciated by just about everyone for their undeniably catchy and terrifically written and played songs.  The core of the group is Ali Genevich and Jacob Brooks, both of whom play guitar and trade vocals (though most of the lead vocals are sung by the golden throated Ali).  Onstage and on recordings they’re often joined by Joe Taurone on drums and Dan Carr on bass guitar, both of whom are better known for their respective roles in Lemon of Choice (another great local band that’s been around awhile now).

Laveda, 2021 (photo by Jim Gilbert)

Their songs are phenomenal.  Their music is totally accessible to anyone that appreciates loud rock music with pop sensibilities.  And their performances are tight as a drum.  All of which was on full display Saturday night when they played a show I doubt anyone in the crowd will ever forget.  They hit all the right notes at all the right times, you could hear every catchy pop tune in the mix and the beautiful harmonies that are increasingly unusual these days but nevertheless highly appealing.  You could see the crowd dancing along with starry eyed amazement and enjoyment from the minute they started playing until the last note of the set (and wanting more).  It was just one of those local shows that you had to have been there to appreciate, and if you were, you probably would have found it incredibly difficult if not impossible to not love this group, their songs, their performance, and everything else about the night that they made an especially great time.  Thanks Laveda, I look forward to hearing more music from you and seeing you live as much as I can.  Perhaps I’ll even gather a bunch of my friends together and follow you on tour!

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