La Luz at Sleeping Village

April 11, 2019

La Luz at Sleeping Village on March 22, 2019.

Badasses. La Luz is the epitome of a fun-loving, badass rock ‘n’ roll band. Playing music influenced by 60s psychedelic surf rock with perfect four-part girl group harmonies, each member of the band is extremely skilled on their respective instruments. Collectively they’ve honed an undeniably disarming stage presence, taking short little breaks for stage banter that make you feel like you’re a friend of the band sitting in on a practice session. But it’s not band practice, and they rip through their set with ease. When they play, it looks effortless.

A couple of songs into the set, the band pandered to the crowd and talked about how much they love playing in Chicago. They reminisced about past shows they’ve played in the city and Lena, the bassist, asked the audience if they remembered certain shows. The audience ate it up, and already La Luz had them in the palm of their hand. Then completely changing the subject and with a very chill west coast surfer attitude, the lead singer and guitarist, Shana, announced that she’s six months pregnant. She proceeded to do a little guitar slide up the neck of her guitar exclaiming something about future progeny being a “shredder” while the drummer, Marian, provided a little fill. For what felt like a whole minute, everyone in the venue was cheering her on and yelling out their congratulations. To get the band back on the track, Alice, the keyboard player, interjected with “Alright, we have a show to play. We’re definitely going past curfew.” Their set was incredibly fun and included a well-rounded mix of songs off of their most recent record, Floating Features, and their previous two records, Weirdo Shrine and It’s Alive.

In perhaps one of my most favorite moments from a show so far this year, Alice did a stage dive into the audience. Stage dives and crowd surfing almost seem like a silly and tired cliche of a rock show. But the circumstances of this particular dive into the crowd made it particularly endearing. If you’ve ever been to Sleeping Village, you know it’s not a very large venue and while possible (as this story is proof), I don’t imagine many musicians aspire to dive into the crowd from that stage. On top of that, La Luz has a following of petite latina girls who are generally my height or shorter. (I stand at 5’3”.) Towards the end of the set, it had been hinted at that Alice would at some point leap into the audience and crowd surf. Marian said, “I’m worried about the amount of songs we have left, and the amount that Alice has not crowd surfed. I’m getting nervous.” Alice responded by saying that she would take her earrings out just in case. During one of their final songs, Alice stepped out from behind her keyboard and stood at the edge of the stage. With a big smile on her face she looked a few people in the eye, stretched her arms out, and nodded yes as a warning to them that she was going to do it. I looked around thinking, “Wait, no. She’s not actually going to do it, is she?” And a second later she was in the air, and I was not the only one who was caught off guard. The very short women in the front were also not fully prepared, and there were a couple of audible “oh shit”s escaping from mouths of those a little farther from the stage. But not to worry, Alice was caught about three feet from the ground and eventually hoisted up over the heads of much taller show goers.

Like a I said, La Luz is a badass rock ‘n’ roll band.

Set List:
Floating Features
Call Me in the Day
Don’t Wanna Be Anywhere
The Creature
Sure As Spring
Loose Teeth
Mean Dream
I Can’t Speak
With Davey
Lonely Dozer
California Finally
You Disappear
I Wanna Be Alone (With You)
What Good Am I? - Encore
Don’t Leave Me on the Earth - Encore