To say that LP tours the world extensively is a huge understatement. After finishing up the massive tour for Churches — making up lost time due to the Covid-19 pandemic — there was announcement of the new album, Love Lines, and another huge touring schedule. But that’s not surprising given the amazing live show LP has become known for in recent years. And it’s not just the live performances. From working on songs for other artists to then building a sizable catalog of their own recordings, LP is a master of the craft of songwriting.
The new album, Love Lines, is LP’s strongest album so far with a comfortableness that feels classic. Songs like “Love Song” and “Golden” feel effortless in the way a lot of great pop music from the 1980’s feel — danceable grooves that stick in your head. And each song seems like it’s in its own world. There really is something for everyone on Love Lines.
It was just last year that LP took the stage at The Anthem, their biggest stage in DC so far, so I was eager to see them when the new tour was announced. Taking the stage at The Anthem once again on Nov. 7, LP showcased several of the new songs. From the single, “Golden” — a perfect pop song that had LP strumming their ukulele and dancing across the stage — and “Love Song,” a personal favorite from the new album to “One Like You” that felt like cross between The Shirelles and Julie Cruise in the best possible way.
Festooned with palm trees and neon lights, LP took to the stage as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played over the sound system. It was a fitting walk-on tune as LP is known for paving their own way and being original — whether it be writing or performing. And as the band started on “Golden” this crowd was ready as LP came out swinging.
The newer numbers had a definite energy that fit well with older songs like “Girls Go Wild.” Other songs from Love Lines like “Wild” seemed perfect for The Anthem with its big choruses. And other like the song, “No Witness” seemed to effortlessly morph into “Special” from Heart to Mouth with an extra gritty guitar and drums driven thump.
LP has a huge fanbase who seem to know every word to songs as soon as their released, to paraphrase LP “into the wild.” But it was old favorite, “Lost On You,” that turned into a sing-a-long anthem with the crowd taking over for part of the chorus.
I’ve had the pleasure to see LP perform several times over the years, and it never ceases to amaze me how much power they have both in terms of range but those other things like a whistle that would put anyone else to shame. LP even broke out the harmonica for “Blow,” which became a carousel of sound as they were accompanied by piano by J Ryan Kern before guitarist and songwriting collaborator Andrew Berkeley Martin’s acoustic guitar came in. As LP sang the lines “Let the cold winds blow,” you could feel the sentiment that you have the strength to face all the troubles and BS that life throws at you as LP’s voice hits that crescendo before the harmonica finishes the song.
Watch the official music video for “Golden” by LP on YouTube:
LP and their band finished up the regular set with the aptly titled, “Long Goodbye,” that wouldn’t feel out of place on early Elton John albums. Certainly one of my favorite songs with that big ending and piano that straddles a honky-tonk shuffle with a measure of George Gershwin thrown in for good measure.
As LP and company returned for the encore they went into “Hola” from the new album with that undeniable Caribbean feel. And after the bouncing “When We’re High” LP finished the night with the beautiful “One Last Time.”
The setlist included:
Burn It Down
Girls Go Wild
One Like You
The One That You Love
How Low Can You Go
Hold The Light
Lost on You
Everybody’s Falling in Love
When We’re High
One Last Time
Here are more photos of LP performing at The Anthem on Nov. 7, 2023. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.