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A Beautiful Blur In Vegas Proves To Be The Best LANY Show Of All Time

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As the final chords fade into the air and the lingering glimmers of disco ball light dance around the room, a Looney Tunes-inspired LANY logo illuminates the floating LED screen. Jake Goss abandons his drum set to embrace his long-time friend and LANY’s frontman, Paul Klein, just as a cascade of roses showers down upon them. It’s in this suspended moment of celebration that the surrealness of the night hits us all, and collectively, we wonder: What the hell did we just witness?

Amidst the swelling cheers and applause, Paul’s voice cuts through the noise, his words ringing with heartfelt sincerity,

“Best night of my whole entire life. Thank you so much. Number one LANY show in history of all time, tonight.”

Paul Klein, LANY

It’s a statement that often feels trite, but in this instance, there’s an undeniable truth to his words. Paul later reaffirms this sentiment in Episode 17 of his new podcast, jellyfish radio.

Remember when Andy Bernard in the last season of the Office said, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”? This night felt like the good old days, and we all knew it.  But what made this night so magical? Was it the band’s incredible talent, the crowd’s infectious energy, the city’s unique atmosphere, or perhaps a fortuitous alignment of the stars? While it may be impossible to fully capture the essence of the night, I’ll attempt to highlight a few of the many key moments in hopes that you’ll feel like you were there, too. So join me as we explore what rendered this LANY show a history-making moment, sure to leave a lasting imprint on all who were fortunate enough to be there.

A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.

When I arrived at The Chelsea in The Cosmopolitan, one of Las Vegas’s most prestigious hotels, I was immediately struck by the genuine warmth and kindness radiating throughout the space. From the excited fans to the attentive staff, everyone seemed to be dialed in on the same wavelength of positivity and goodwill. In an age driven by social media, we carry the weight of the world in the palms of our hands, doom scrolling from one heartbreaking news headline to the next – and so it was truly refreshing, even surprising, to encounter such a pure and uplifting energy, especially in the heart of sin city. This initial impression foreshadowed the tone for the memorable evening that lay ahead.

A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.

Typically, opening acts face the challenge of warming up the crowd before the headliner takes the stage. However, tonight presented no need. Instead, the already charged crowd engaged in a playful game of lively exchange with Conor Burns and Junior Varsity, pulling each other to higher frequencies of energy. Paul even later remarked that he could feel the venue pulsating from the dressing room. During breaks between sets, an ambient instrumental soundtrack amplified the anticipation among eager LANY enthusiasts.

As the indie pop band’s opening moment drew near, a colossal white sheet descended from the ceiling to the stage, teasing glimpses of flashing silhouettes of their band members. The crowd erupted into a frenzy of anticipation, eagerly awaiting the spectacle about to unfold. Then, with the first few chords of “you!”, the first track on their album mama’s boy, the sheet monumentally cascades to the ground, unveiling the band in all their glory.

A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.
A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.

Those familiar with Paul Klein’s past as a worship leader and Jake Goss’s background as a drummer at Mosaic Church in Los Angeles may recognize spiritual undertones in LANY’s lyrics. Particularly, “you!”, resembles an outcry to a savior, with imagery evoking themes of salvation and renewal. Thus, it seems fitting that LANY would kick off the show with an ode to their fans, celebrating the love and support that’s carried them on through the years. Paul expresses his heartfelt gratitude to the audience, emphasizing that both he and Jake would be nothing without the individuals who connect deeply with their music. In essence, he affirms, LANY is not merely a band but a collective of souls bound together by shared experiences, emotions, and well, good music.

A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.
A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.
A beautiful blur in Vegas proves to be the best LANY show of all time according to LANY frontman Paul Klein.

Like water in the desert
Impossible to find
You found me when I was broken
Put me back together, gave me life

Like a flower in the concrete
So beautiful and rare
You gave me hope when I was empty
Walked me through the fire, you were there

You’re the sun to the moon
You’re my ocean, painted blue
You, I’m nothing without you
(Without you, without you)

By the third song, “up to me”, Paul boldly proclaims, “This is already my favorite LANY show of all time.” As if caught in one giant dance circle, the crowd encourages Paul’s exuberance as he shows off his above-the-head high kicks in baggy leather pants.  Even during more mellow songs like “somewhere” and “13” the energy never settles. Beach balls soar through the air during “Love at First Fight”, and with everyone on their feet, the springs under the floorboard transform The Chelsea into a mega-bouncy house that feels ready to take flight. “Saturday Night) 3.22 A.M.” is currently my personal favorite – there’s a subtle yet highly addicting element embedded within the fabric of the song, reminiscent of a Fred Again.. euphoric dance hit. The lyric “It’s always summer when you’re with me” perfectly encapsulates the feeling of a LANY show.

“Let’s get some shit off our chests tonight” Paul declares, setting the stage for the energetic anthem “Congrats,” a beloved crowd favorite with good reason. This song serves as a cathartic purge, a collective post-breakup burn party. Despite the aches of heartbreak, there’s something liberating about shouting at the top of your lungs alongside both friends and strangers, not knowing the details of everyone’s story but knowing that pain cuts deep all the same. The thunderous roars of the crowd echo throughout The Chelsea, begging the question, “Who hurt you, Vegas?”  Yet, in that moment, it doesn’t matter; we find solace together. Transitioning seamlessly into “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore” from their post-breakup album Malibu Nights, we bid farewell to past loves with a defiant flourish.

It’d be a crime not to highlight “Alonica”, the symbolic paradise Paul coined to describe the freedom found in solitude. It’s a natural human occurrence to be haunted by the fear of being alone. You think you’ll be friends with someone forever, until you’re not. And it’s a difficult truth to swallow, when the people you trusted most in your life failed to have your best interest at heart. But as time goes by, as friends fade, your perspective begins to change. You realize that what initially felt like a knife to the gut actually made a pathway to the healing and comfort you found in your own company. “Alonica” masterfully illustrates this journey of self-discovery. Before the song plays, the LED screen prompts the crowd to illuminate their phones, creating a mesmerizing scene of Paul at the piano surrounded by a sea of stars, each representing someone who has grappled with the fear of being alone. It’s a poignant visual that contrasts the song’s message, suggesting that even in the depths of Alonica, one is never truly alone.

Having had the privilege of witnessing LANY perform in much smaller venues, I found it remarkable to see Paul effortlessly command a room of 3,000+ people. The visuals were absolutely stunning, with vibrant color being the paid actor of the night. But more than the artistry, Paul’s ability to connect with his audience is a gift one simply cannot be taught. In true LANY fashion, long-time LANY lovers continued the tradition of offering bouquets of roses as Paul approached them. He graciously accepted each one, engaging in wholesome moments, reaching out to touch the fingertips of loved fans, resembling the iconic scene from “E.T.” Soon after, he’d launch the roses into the air, leaving the stage full of flowers on the floor.

This band is so much more than just a collection of catchy tunes and captivating performances. LANY is a celebration of life in its entirety, encompassing every season and feeling. From the depths of loneliness to the heights of love, from moments of despair to those of healing and clarity, LANY offers a sanctuary to embrace our rawest emotions, honoring the beautiful chaos that defines our human existence.

How fortunate we are to live this life together, navigating through a beautiful blur – the journey that is the human experience. While there’s much more to share about this unforgettable night in Vegas and the band’s profound impact, I’ll leave space for you to discover LANY’s essence for yourself, just as their music leaves room for self-revelation within the depths of their lyrics. Whether you find yourself dancing in the crowd at their next concert or quietly reflecting on their melodies, may you discover solace and hope in the music that resonates with countless souls.

Show Date: 03.22.24 // Las Vegas, NV @ The Chelsea in The Cosmopolitan // A Beautiful Blur In Vegas Proves To Be The Best LANY Show Of All Time
Photos & words by Kaprea Devila

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