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Lake Street Dive Jazzes Up The Cuban Club

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Lake Street Dive/


Local Tampa radio station WMNF 88.5 supplied the musical stylings of The Congress and Lake Street Drive this past Saturday evening at Ybor City’s Cuban Club. The Cuban Club, an outdoor venue, had the Florida natives bundled up head-to-toe in their gloves and scarves due to the recent change in climate. Despite the chilling sixty degree weather, the crowd still managed to rock out to these incredibly talented bands.

The Congress kicked off the night with an indie rock feel, presenting the crowd with original numbers off of their newest album, Whatever You Want. The Denver-based band opened with a suggestion to all of the registered voters of Tampa Bay to make sure and vote yes on the ballot this coming November to legalize medical marijuana.

This did not go over all that well with the predominantly older crowd present at the event, and led some of the attendees to rather loudly speculated the meaning behind their band name going as far to say; “I wonder if they painted ‘congress’ across their drum set to beat some sense in to congress both literally with drumsticks and figuratively with their devil may care attitudes,” expressed a rather inquisitive listener.

Whether or not these men had attempted to “stick it to the man,” they definitely stuck it to the crowd. The Congress’ cover of “Killing Me Softly” had the audience jamming in no time.

The four-piece folk-jazz band, Lake Street Drive, soon took the stage appearing one by one and showcasing their sound that easily transported a crowd to a different era. A rather turbulent era in our history: a time where thought-provoking lyrics and raspy voices dominated the airwaves, yes the sixties.

Lake Street Drive recently made their debut on Conan performing their hit “Stop Your Crying” and have been quickly gaining fans since their performance. The band was also described as “this year’s best new band” by Rolling Stone, and for good reason.

Every aspect of Lake Street Drive amazed the crowd. With vocalist Rachel Price as their lead singer, this band is entirely fearless. Price’s hauntingly beautiful voice accompanied by magnificent cello and trumpet harmonies was absolutely breathtaking.

Lake Street Drive’s tour was prompted by the release of their new album Bad Self Portraits which was what most of the setlist for the night was composed of. The band opened with the track “You Go Down Smooth” and with Price’s raspy and extremely unique voice the crowd hung on to every word.

To follow, the band played their title song off of “Bad Self Portraits” which explores the current craze of selfies and compares the act to loneliness. The lyrics go as far to say: “I’m taking bad self portraits of a lonely woman.”

Venturing from their arsenal of original pieces, the band performed B-52’S classic “Love Shack.” They expressed to the crowd that when looking for a song to cover they started a tradition of only covering songs performed by bands that have four people with two guys and two girls. This definitely limits the band’s choices, but keeps the performance interesting.

With the recent surge in Lake Street Drive’s popularity, the band expressed their eagerness to stay true to their roots. Their unique name stems from a street in the hometown of the band’s trumpet and guitar player. This street is home to a string of bars that features small bands looking to make it big. This ideal struck home for this quartet and seemed to be the most fitting name for them. It seems they too will be making it big based on their performance this past weekend.

Madison Kazar can be reached at

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