This was the payout of LANY’s yearlong hustle: playing to a crowd of thousands in the biggest shows they have ever done. They strummed their guitars and played their keys for two straight nights in Manila—nights that they were quick to acknowledge as the best of their lives.
The alternative band has crossed more than 120 borders in the past year alone. Shifting from city to city on tour, leaving little time to spare for recording sessions. And yet they managed to put out a self-titled album bearing, of course, their breakthrough singles “ILYSB,” “Super Far” and “13.”
An estimated quarter of their four million monthly Spotify listeners come from the Philippines alone, and that audience didn’t choose to remain online. They made sure there was never a second of silence in the Smart Araneta Coliseum while the band was onstage.
It took a music festival billing and a string of mall shows both produced by Karpos Multimedia to lead to this very moment—what can now be deemed as an effortless pursuit of filling an arena with Filipino fans, all with welled-up enthusiasm for LANY’s music.
There’s not much sentiment over the brevity of the band’s musical journey. It is with commendable momentum that they redefined their sonic identity—one that now veers away from contemporary British rock. Its tunes have stuck with the introspection of love, relationships and breakups, capturing the very spirit of romance and loss.
LANY (which stands for “Los Angeles New York”) has mastered its melodies with frontman Paul Klein composing the breakdown before the breakup. But what would be remembered live is the vocalist’s astonishing revelry in revelations, making sure that the crowd feels every bit of energy and emotion.
“Manila, you sound so good,” Klein told the crowd. “Thank you for the best two nights of our lives. Thank you so much for spending your hard-earned money, for your time, and for making sacrifices to come see us tonight. It means the world to us,” the vocalist added.
The band, who also has Les Priest on guitar and keyboard and Jake Goss on drums, performed fan favorites like “Good Girls,” “Hurts,” “It Was Love” and “Flowers on the Floor.” Even in their ballads, the sunny and lax California vibe remained in their tunes.
The rare stillness in the air came when Klein finally sat down to play the piano. He set the mood with a few lines from “Signs of the Times” and “Current Location,” before diving into the catchy swift rhythm of “Pink Skies.”
Klein played “Hericane” as if caught in the fear of getting exposed. Anguish formed in the shadows of his face, while heartache was felt even more in his voice, and everyone in that arena knew it wasn’t just a performance, it was an exposition. It was also the second night that he reluctantly shed tears while performing the same song.
There was this undeniable intensity of emotion under the spotlight, leaving the crowd speechless until the lead singer asked them to sing the verses with him—in chorus they hollered, “But I love you still, I always will. But you’re the one in the wrong.”
We saw Klein tumbling to get on all sides of the stage, reaching out to as many fans as he could. He had the willingness to meet each passing moment with energy, and before him was a vivacious crowd ready to level with him. It was a concert blistering with passion, a wonderful memory of what it’s like to feel broken yet feel infinite all the same.