Lake Street Dive have caused quiet a buzz on their first Australian tour adding extra dates, which was a bonus for me because I missed their initial Feb show at the Recital Centre. In the intimate space of the Corner Hotel bandroom Lake Street Dive delivered a brilliant accomplished performance. They are a band that posses a tight groove and their harmonies are incredible, they just soar. Rachel Price has a vocal style entrenched in the jazz era of singers like Sarah Vaughan, a rich timbre and a unique melisma that has the impact of a separate instrument. Each song she injected enthusiasm and passion, equally feeding of the audience as well as her fellow cohorts on stage. The rhythm section was propelled by the bass of Bridget Kearney who also provides some amazing backing vocals, she uses her upright almost like a rhythm guitar especially when guitarist Mike Olsen switches to trumpet.
The band kicked off the show with rabid animal with drummer Mike Calabrese getting the audience on their feet, flawless would be best way to describe the opening salvo, sounded like the record. It's a risk to go with your best known song early in the set but Bad Self Portrait seemed like the perfect follow up, with the crowd grooving along and singing the chorus. Stop Your Crying showed of their effortless harmonies, Look at What Mistake had Mike Olsen on trumpet which gave the song a more New Orleans soul feel. The jaunty Use Me Up with a funky bass intro is another foot stomper, the band then slow things down with the jazz tinged Bobby Tanqueray and like the pros that they are in the middle eight the band segue into Van Halen's Jump without missing a beat. The slow and sultry Just Ask is another tour de force from Rachel, she just wrings every ounce of emotion from the song, Mike Olsen also takes the opportunity to show some fine blues licks in his call and response duet with Rachel. Go Down Smooth brings things to an end before the encore which features a great rendition of Hall and Oates' Rich Girl.