Sometimes I just don’t get this town.
On Friday, veteran DC rockers Lorelei played the Black Cat to celebrate the release of their excellent new album, Enterprising Sidewalks. The album, which was officially released on August 14th, is the band’s first full length effort since 1995’s minor classic, Everyone Must Touch the Stove. The album represents the culmination of an unlikely reunion that officially began in 2003 (the band went on hiatus in 1996) but only truly picked up steam after they played Slumberland’s 20th anniversary show in 2009. Since then, the band has played a handful of area dates (including Chickfactor Magazine’s anniversary show at Artisphere earlier this year) in an effort to hone their sound and prepare for a more comprehensive tour in support of Sidewalks - but this was to be their true homecoming.
Those warm up efforts paid off nicely on Friday night. From the moment the band took the stage to the moment they left, Lorelei made it abundantly clear that they had lost none of their edge. The trio (Matt Dingee, Steven Gardner, and Davis White) filled the main floor of the Cat with their trademark blend of post-rock musicianship, shoegaze inflected guitar squall, and disarmingly well-crafted pop hooks (even a nasty flu bug couldn’t stop them from bringing the rock). The three of them played off of each other easily, building layered walls of sound that sounded as though they should have been emanating from the instruments of a much larger band. Moreover, it was apparent that they had refined their sound over the years, adding a welcome layer of polish and mature craftsmanship to their intricate soundscapes. In short, they put on a hell of a show.
Which is why it was so surprising that the event was so sparsely attended. The press was there, photographs were taken, and the assembled few clearly enjoyed themselves…but, sadly, the band did not draw a crowd commensurate with their stature and influence in the DC music scene.
Now, given that they have local roots (even if individual members have made their homes elsewhere), it’s a fair bet that you will get another chance to see Lorelei in short order. And, when they come back through, you should all do just that. Because, frankly DC, if you can’t support a renowned local band promoting a strong comeback album at one of the most storied venues in the District, you’re doing it all wrong.