The crowd was ready to be livened up a little by the time La Luz took the stage. Starting off with a couple of hip swinging instrumental heavy songs, toes began tapping and heads began bobbing. Before she even purred a single lyric into the mic, guitarist and lead singer Shana Cleveland had the crowd in the palm of her hand. Her presence and energy is intense, yet she carries herself with an other-worldly sense of calm and serenity. A lightning bolt tattoo on her forearm flexes and stretches as she intently strummed through a solo-heavy hour long set.
Though she was still two-stepping in time along with Cleveland and harmonizing perfectly with the groups doo-wop influenced backup vocals, Blackwell seemed to exhibit a tangible sense of alienation from her band mates. While keyboardist Alice Sandahl and drummer Marian Li Pino both adorably exchanged quips and smiles throughout the night, Blackwell seemed intent to just get through the set. The tension was best illustrated when the four piece left the stage after a two song encore. While Cleveland, Li Pino, an Sandahl scurried backstage together, Blackwell beelined through the crowd toward the front door, alone.
In spite of its pending change in personnel, La Luz put on an extremely entertaining live show. A surf rock soul train line got everyone's blood pumping before the group obliged with fan favorites like singles "Call Me In The Day", "It's Alive", and the impromptu twist contest inducing "Brainwash."
La Luz has seen a lot of success since their inception in 2012, and it's unlikely that this small lineup setback will be much of a roadblock for the swingin' Seattle seductresses. A serious tour van accident last November couldn't keep the quartet down long either, so it seems that La Luz is only on #2 of the band's nine lives. If you missed them this time around, don't fret. They're likely to be back soon.