Equal parts rock and country, Lydia Loveless is a shot of rhythmic fire. And for 90-plus minutes last Thursday the Ohio-based songstress and her band held a crowded MilkBoy under her spell.
Only 24, Loveless spins tales of desire and soul with a knowhow of someone twice her age. Her voice curls with country swirl on songs like the utterly brilliant “To Love Somebody,” while her lyrics often instantly become memorable, like on “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud.” Both aforementioned songs are from her solid 2014 album Somewhere Else, which was heavily featured in the setlist.
Loveless is more than just herself as her stunning band shows. Beginning with husband Ben Lamb on standup bass, shaking his long locks in time to his bass, her band is four strong. Jay Gasper was frequently on pedal steel while Nick German’s drums were solid. And then there was guitarist and backing vocalist Todd May, twisting and throwing his body against the wall while playing many great guitar lines. The songs are layered affairs, with Loveless’ voice the linchpin and guitars, drums and bass rotating on “Somewhere Else” and concluding in a distant place full of desire and loss. Despite the sadness, the crowd was eating up every moment.
Locals TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb opened, performing material from their self-titled EP recently released on American Diamond Recordings. Kong guitarist Josh Olmstead also played an opening set with his band; check out photos from the show in the gallery below.