Jazz Aspen Labor Day: Lake Street Dive
If You Go …
Who: Lake Street Dive
Where: Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience, Snowmass Town Park
When: Friday, Sept. 1, 6 p.m.
How much: $69.50 and up
Five years back, when Lake Street Dive was yet to be discovered by the masses and honing their distinctive retro soul sound, the band recorded an inspired cover of Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl” with touches of upright bass and trumpet and driven — like all of its songs — by singer Rachel Price’s robust and irresistible alto.
On Friday, the Brooklyn-based band will share a stage with Hall & Oates themselves on the opening night of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience. They’ve come a long way.
For a band rooted in the old-school sounds of Motown soul and ’60s rock and throwback jazz vocals, Lake Street Dive had an uncharacteristically 21st-century breakthrough: going viral on YouTube.
A live recording of their “Rich Girl” from 2013 has racked up nearly 2 million views. But it was a video of another cover from the band’s 2012 “Fun Machine” EP that made them a sensation. Their take on the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” recorded in a whimsical impromptu session on the street in Brighton, Massachusetts, became a must-watch for music fans across the U.S. By last week, it had nearly 5 million views.
“It all kind of started with a YouTube video that went viral,” Price said before a previous tour stop in Aspen. “After that we saw a lot more people at our shows, more people interested in hearing about the band.”
Formed in 2004 by Price and three classically trained classmates from the New England Conservatory of Music, Lake Street Dive was no overnight sensation. By the time they became YouTube stars five years ago, the band’s members had played hundreds of shows in clubs around the country (they’re named for the kinds of dive bars they’d play on Lake Street in Minneapolis) and had a solid grasp on what they wanted to do with their talent. So when a national audience finally showed up to listen, Lake Street Dive did not disappoint.
“It was great because we’d been a band for 10 years,” Price said. “So we felt really ready for it.”
Lake Street Dive built on that buzz with the 2014 album “Bad Self Portraits,” which made them an it-band with sold-out tours and gigs at the White House and on “A Prairie Home Companion.” The band followed up that breakthrough with last year’s album “Side Pony,” offering another dose of ’60s-inspired soul and rock and topping the alternative Billboard chart. These days, they can sell out Red Rocks and headline festival like Jazz Aspen’s Labor Day Experience.
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