February 19, 2014 by Azwad Rahman
There were multiple benefits to Drexel’s third and a half snow day. I think the benefit we most enjoyed was not going to class, but the snow was a little concerning for those of us who had a concert to go to that day. Luckily, the concert was still on and living only a block away from the concert venue really made things much easier. Seeing LP and Kodaline perform at World Cafe Live was a fun and great experience, especially because the snowstorm took away most of the crowd.
World Cafe Live has two main areas for their concerts. We had the pleasure of having the concert in the lower level, with an intimate floor space, a bar in the back and balcony seating upstairs. The small crowd allowed my friend and me to get really close to the stage. The lighting was dim and colorful, a perfect setting for the slow indie tunes of LP and Kodaline.
LP, also known as Laura Pergolizzi, is a short, pop-indie rocker from New York with a preference for the ukulele and whistling in her songs. She came on to the stage with a relaxed and funny demeanor, making jokes with the audience. She was clearly very comfortable on the stage. Her singing was incredible in the sense that her vocal range was almost magical. Singing in a deep alto at one point and then taking the audience by surprise with a fierce high note that lasted for at least thirty seconds, LP was easily a crowd favorite, even as the opener. Her songs “Tokyo Sunrise” and “Into the Wild,” her most popular, really demonstrated her vocal range. Her whistling wasn’t just a cute addition to her song, but rather an integral part of the feel and effect of her songs that made you want to have a picnic in a park. She also played songs from her new EP that is expected in the coming months. LP, with her amazing hokey tunes, was definitely a pleasure and was called out for again as she was leaving. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to her, you’re missing out.
Kodaline, a soft rock indie band from Dublin, had a very business-like attitude with their performance, which was expected considering their stage time was cut down due to weather conditions. The crowd was very excited to see them nonetheless. The band mates, vocalist Steve Garrigan, lead guitarist Mark Prendergast, bass guitarist Jason Boland, and drummer Vinny May, had a brotherly bond evident in their song “One Day,” in which Garrigan talks about the relationship the band members have had since they were kids. Garrigan himself is a great singer with a variety of skills on other instruments such as the guitar, banjo and harmonica, all of which he used in his songs. One of the best parts of being in a crowd with Kodaline’s fans was the clear loyalty to the music. Though rife with EPs, Kodaline’s discography only boasts one studio album, “In a Perfect World.” Despite a lack of mainstream presence in the U.S., a majority of the crowd knew the words to all their songs. In one instance, Garrigan was taken aback as he was about to start singing a song and the crowd took over for him.
Another thing about Kodaline that I really enjoyed was that every band member could sing well and participated in the vocals. Prendergast and Boland provided great backup vocals to Garrigan. Even May participated in some singing for certain songs. May’s drumming skills were something of note; his drumming tricks and beat effects added a serene feel to the performance. Kodaline also maintained a good relationship with the crowd, talking about their inspirations and welcoming audience participation. They were genuinely happy that so many people were able to make it to the show in the snow.
The lighting for their show was also phenomenal; World Cafe used a disco ball to bring their songs to life. They also brought a collaboration song to life. Kodaline came down into the audience and sang “Bring it On Home to Me” by Sam Cooke. Kodaline always had a good attitude on stage, even when Prendergast broke a guitar string. They are just as fun to listen to as they are to see on stage. They have an amazing ability to change their soft sweet songs to banjo solos filled with energy, which can remind you of a Mumford & Son’s single. Kodaline ended the night with a two-song encore including their extremely popular “All I Want.”