La Sera kept the night alive on May 12th, as they opened for the punk-laden Titus Andronicus, a late counterpoint to the early Parquet Courts show at the 9:30 Club.
Each decked out in matching ‘uniforms’ (white tees and black jeans), La Sera played a poppy, breezy 13-song set for the expectant hordes. That the horde was there for loud, unrepentant punk rock was obvious, but still La Sera won the crowd over (or me) with Katy Goodman’s vocal stylings and an at times twangy, surf-like rock sound.
La Sera is Katy Goodman (lead vocals) and her husband Todd Wisenbaker (on guitar). Brendan McCusker played drums, and it turns out he is from DC, so he got a big 9:30 Club welcome. Katy and Todd are from Los Angeles where Katy started the band in 2010.
Katy and Todd had an easy, sometimes humorous, interplay during the show. Katy asked the crowd, “What are all of these songs about?” to which Todd shot back, “F#cking things up!”
Of course they weren’t, as per the song they opened with, “Break My Heart”, about being bad and unrepentant.
Many songs are upbeat, but delve into themes of love lost.
They are touring for their fourth studio album, Music for Listening Music To, produced by Ryan Adams. They played at least four new songs from the album, including “Time To Go” (where Todd thought it was time for everyone to go buck wild). Another new song, “Shadow of Your Love”, starts out slow and melodic, then ratchets up with a hearty surf twang.
Near the end of the set, they covered Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” in an energetic frenzy the song deserves, the lyrics sounding extra cheerful coming from Katy.
This show marked the first date on their US tour with Titus Andronicus, which finishes at the end of May. The connection between the two bands came out later, as Katy told the story of hanging out with Patrick Stickles, the lead singer of Titus Andronicus, during high school in 7-Eleven parking lots. And when the first parking lot proved boring, they’d roll to the next town and seek out a fresh 7-Eleven lot for more shenanigans. A friendship that evolved from parking lots to stages.
They closed the night with “Hour of the Dawn”, about looking back on the time of your life. And as we look back, we shall say the show was good.