Photos and Review by: Joanna Foster
Venue: 1720, Los Angeles, CA
Date: April 9, 2023
L.S. Dunes recently finished a tour in Europe earlier this year and surprised fans by announcing two headlining shows in California during the second weekend of April. Both dates were sold out within days, and the band played to a full house of energetic fans for the final show at the 1720 in Los Angeles.
Nate Bergman opened the night, and this was a live performance that I was looking forward to for a long time. The venue was already packed by the time Nate came on stage, and the audience was fully invested from the minute he began his set with an a capella cover of “There’s a Reward”. You might not expect to hear an opener that describes himself as “country emo” lead off the night for a post-hardcore band, but Nate Bergman captivated everyone in the room from the first note to the last. Not only does Nate have an impressive vocal range and makes musical choices in every song, every phrase that communicates the lyrics in the best ways, he also seems to live and breathe a passion for music into every note he sings. The crowd connected with this immediately, and by the time Nate closed with “Into My Arms”, constant cheers and clapping followed him off of the stage.
The venue was alive with the excitement of the crowd as we waited for L.S Dunes to start their set. The 1720 is a small warehouse venue that used to be a garment factory, and the high vaulted ceilings that open to exposed rafters give a grandiose but gritty vibe, perfectly suited for the band and crowd there that night.
Tucker Rule (also drummer for Thursday) was the first to the stage, with Frank Iero (also guitarist for My Chemical Romance), Anthony Green (also vocalist for Circa Survive and Saosin), Tim Payne (also guitarist for Thursday), and Travis Stever (also guitarist for Coheed and Cambria) following shortly after to deafening screams and cheers from the audience. The band kicked off the set with “Bombsquad”, and the energy from both the band and the crowd hit an immediate high that continued for the entire show.
This new band, made up of long-time members of the music scene, doesn’t have a years-long catalog to pull songs from since they only released their first album, Past Lives, less than 6 months ago in November 2022. Even with only 11 tracks to play, the band puts their entire heart into every second of those tracks both on the album and at every show. The fans connect to the heart in those songs, the message, the “no fucks given” emotional outpouring from every one of the band members, and they scream and sing along unapologetically to lyrics like “I don’t wanna kill time like it doesn’t matter” (Grey Veins) and “I’m not all my mistakes no matter what they say about it” (Past Lives).
The band ended the main set with the title track from their album, Past Lives, and after a brief break, they came back to play the final two songs for the encore: 2022 and Sleep Cult. Both songs were full of raw emotion, and no one was ready for the set to end. Anthony Green added an outro to the end of Sleep Cult and sang additional lyrics including “I’m sorry that I had to sing this song.” The crowd immediately cheered at the end of the encore, but the meaning behind those lyrics and the entire song was not lost into the screams of the audience, and some fans were visibly moved to tears when the house lights came up at the end of the night.
L.S. Dunes Setlist 4/9/2023
It Takes Time
The Sunday show concluded the last of the solo headlining dates that were scheduled, but L.S. Dunes will be making 6 festival appearances over the summer, starting May 28th at Adjacent Festival. You can also catch them at various dates in July for Sad Summer Festival. For tickets, to these upcoming shows, visit L.S. Dunes’ website here. The band has already announced that they are making new music, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.