Review and photos by Ellen Eldridge
Fans who caught St. Lucia opening for Ellie Goulding at The Tabernacle in January returned to the Vinyl last night to catch them headlining a show, with Haerts supporting. Both acts stood out for their vocalists, who each maintained a fun atmosphere of rhythm and dancing. St. Lucia singer Jean-Philip Grobler grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, so the fact that St. Lucia’s vocals and harmonies made the show was not surprising.
Grobler danced and turned around several times on the small stage; he made the space his own while staying in step with band mates Patricia Beranek (keys, vocals), Ross Clark (bass, guitar, keys, vocals) Nick Brown (drums) and Nick Paul (keys).
The ambiance inside Vinyl’s walls bound patrons together like friends in a living room. People conversed over Amstel Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon beers about how Haerts transposed the letters in its band’s name, and whether or not they saw St. Lucia open for Goulding in January. Fans were asked to dance together and breathe in each other’s air, which happened as the gap in front of the stage closed throughout the set.
Grobler asked the audience to participate by singing out the chorus “Don’t go. Don’t go away.” from the song “We Got it Wrong”, which is described as “a Caribbean-flavoured track with a mid-song pause for some spacey synths” on the official video posted on YouTube.
After playing “Forgiveness”, Grobler expressed relief for “not fucking up” the song, and later apologized in advance for the possibility of his voice cracking because he said the band played 11 shows in seven days.
St. Lucia may have only released a self-titled EP, but following the band’s SXSW performance last year, VH1 featured St. Lucia on Hollywood Exes and called the 2012 EP one of the best albums of the year.
Tuesday’s show brought fans together for that special feeling that permeates the air shortly before a band breaks. St. Lucia closed with “September”, after playing, among other songs, “Closer Than This”, “Before the Dive” and crowd favorite “All Eyes on You”.
Keep an eye out this fall for St. Lucia’s debut album being released by Neon Gold, formerly a singles-only label that launched releases of Passion Pit, Ellie Goulding, The Naked & Famous and countless others.