High Sierra Festival: Lake Street Dive’s incredible debut

Tahoe Onstage

Rachael Price and Lake Street Dive debuts at the High Sierra Music Festival.

Editor’s note: This is a review of Lake Street Dive’s July 4 performance at the High Sierra Music Festival. The Boston band will play in Reno for the first time on Sunday, Feb. 28, in Cargo at the Whitney Peak Hotel. Tickets are on sale now. TICKETS

QUINCY, Calif. — Lake Street Dive’s first performance at High Sierra Music Festival was nothing short of incredible. Lead singer Rachael Price’s larger-than-life voice was center-stage for a triumphant Fourth of July performance at the High Sierra Grandstand stage. The set was full of new material, fan-favorites like “Seventeen” and “Bad Self Portraits,” and even a brazenly fun reinvention of the Van Halen hit “Jump.”

Since their meteoric rise to fame in 2012, the Boston-based quartet has worked tirelessly to build its fan base with the members making a name for themselves as songwriters. While it may have been their sultry cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” that propelled them to stardom, their success since has been entirely theirs with the release of the poppy, jazzy full length album “Bad Self Portraits.”

The group’s harmonies were rich and tight throughout, providing a lush backdrop for Price’s soaring vocals. Drummer Mike Calabrese was all smiles as the band tore through their hour and a half set, often laughing with bassist Bridget Kearney between songs. Their attitudes were reflective of the audience’s.

Multi-instrumentalist Mike “McDuck” Olson was stoic as he juggled trumpet, guitar and singing duties to help propel the set forward but it was Kearney who stole the show with not just her show-stopping bass chops but her attitude, backing vocals, and the interplay with the other members of the group.

“We love this festival so much,” Price said near the end of the set “If we get asked to play it again we’ll definitely be back next year.” The crowd erupted at the thought as the band launched into “You Go Down Smooth.” With an album due out early next year, Lake Street Dive’s future is undoubtedly bright and with any luck High Sierra Music Festival will be a part of it.

About Spencer Kilpatrick

Author Spencer Kilpatrick graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in English. He hates the Lakers and his top three emcees are Blu, Earl Sweatshirt and Nas.

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