“Keeping quiet’s easy, and I could try but I’m not gonna.”
And trust me, there is no keeping quiet about this show from one of Indianapolis’ finest musical acts.
Just 24 hours removed from the release of their third record, Lily and Madeleine performed in front of a hometown crowd in the Deluxe room at Old National Centre.
There’s a lot to like about these sisters: their beautiful harmonies, their intricate songs, and the fact that they’re from Indianapolis. I first saw Lily and Madeleine perform just a few months ago in Valparaiso. Actually, they were one of my primary reasons for making the 2-hour trek to Northwest Indiana. I’ve been hooked ever since, buying all the records (one from them after said show in Valpo) and making time to see them twice in two days this weekend.
Yesterday was a short in-store performance at LUNA; tonight is a full set. I’ve had this show on my radar since they told me about it in November. So let’s do this. Allons-y:
It’s a mild, almost spring-like night here in Indianapolis, and Old National Centre is buzzing (in more ways than one). While Deadheads assembled en masse upstairs for Dark Star Orchestra, the rest of us made our way to the basement. Unlike my last few visits to the Deluxe room, this place is pretty full. There are a few families who brought their young children with them, there are high school to college-aged people here with their friends or their dates, there are older people with an appreciation for music, and even a few friends and family (we are in their hometown, mind you).
But before they can take the stage, we get a short-but-sweet opening performance by Shannon Hayden. With the help of looping pedals, and a few appearances from drummer Kate Siefker – also part of the full band – it’s a very haunting, almost atmospheric set, not unlike what you might hear in the closing credits of a film or serial television drama.
It feels a little like filler until our headliner, but there’s a lot of good stuff happening on stage. It’s an enjoyable appetizer that showcases the talent of the both Siefker and Hayden, and there’s no shortage here. Some of the crowd looks a little anxious, but that’s to be expected when the main course is coming up shortly. Overall, an enjoyable opening set by a very talented musician.
Our main event is next, but for an excruciating wait that probably isn’t as long in real-time, but much like waiting in line at the DMV or wondering when Sherlock will come back, this feels like an eternity. If I wasn’t situated in the center of the room, I’d walk around a bit, but I’ve been stuck behind those pillars before, and I’m not watching this show by staring at a phone screen because someone decided they wanted to record something.
Meanwhile, others are passing the time in varying ways. They chat politely amongst one another, some walk over to the bar for another drink, some try to stake out better spots on the floor to view the stage (everyone else is always taller than you…), and some even take a few moments to play with the face swap feature on their phones.
I’m getting antsy, but before it feels like I can’t take much more, the lights go out, and our favorite sisters make their way to the stage. Much like their new record, we start out with “Not Gonna,” and away we go.
As promised at their in-store the previous day, their sets consists of playing everything off Keep It Together, with a few old favorites thrown in for good measure. As most of the hour-plus set is new songs, there isn’t a whole lot of singing along, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Most everyone is fixated on the stage or nodding along to the music (including myself in the latter).
There isn’t much talking going on in between songs. This is very much a music show. No gimmicks, no frills, no over-the-top showmanship, just four very talented musicians showing why they’re some of the best at what they do. Their harmonies are impeccable, all four have great chemistry, and they’re able to connect with the crowd so organically. Nothing is forced and no one is putting on a face for anyone. They’re just them, and that might be bigger than anything else. One little girl even shouts out to them “I love you!,” easily one of the most adorable moments I’ve ever seen at a show.
The highlight? They saved it for the end as they closed their set with “Nothing.” The song itself is a tale of love and heartbreak. I’ve listened to it maybe a handful of times before tonight, but this is the first time I truly heard it. It’s the sign of a great live band, when you can not only see something or someone you like, but you can feel it. When you can enjoy the music and make an emotional connection to the artist, there’s nothing better than that.
The band bids a fond farewell before leaving everyone in the dark wanting more. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long. Lily and Madeleine came back to the stage by themselves for one last song, a cover of “Sea of Love” that Phil Phillips would be proud of (interesting to note, they said they “might” do a cover the previous night). From there, the show ends. Some head to the merch table inside the room to pick up the new record or say hi to the band. Everyone else heads towards the exit, back into the real world.
A mark of a great performance? When it still resonates almost a week later. There may not be much showmanship or gimmicks, but what you will find when you go to one of their shows, is pure heart, soul, and emotion coming from one of the finest acts to come out of the Indianapolis scene.
Keep quiet? I’m not gonna, and neither will they.
While not as small or as intimate as the previous night, their show translated well in a larger room with more people. You won’t get a show that’s overly gimmicky, but what you will get is a performance that’s nothing but emotion and soul. It’s music in its purest form. Plus, if you’re as much of a fan of their harmonies as I am, wait until you hear it live.
As enjoyable as the opening performance by Kate and Shannon was, it did feel a little like filler. Not a huge gripe, but enough where it’s worth mentioning. There’s also the long wait in between, but that may be because I’m impatient.