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Review: LIGHTS Debuts New Music, Covers Antoine Dodson At Baltimore Tour Stop

LIGHTS - Stacey Johnson/Neon Limelight

The last time electro-pop supergirl LIGHTS blew through Baltimore on tour, she was the opening act to her male counterpart, “Fire Flies” singer Owl City.

Despite having an undeniably danceable catalog, LIGHTS’ show suffered — especially when compared to her first Baltimore concert just months earlier — from a condensed set time, broken instruments, and criminally bad sound in the venue.

LIGHTS was back in Baltimore last night (November 11) performing at the Ottobar on her second headlining tour, and thankfully, things resembled her first show more than the last.

Dressed casually in jeans and a black tank top — the same top that she wore on the cover art for her recently released Acoustic EP — LIGHTS stormed the stage with many of the tracks from her debut album, The Listening, traveling from her keyboard to her trusty keytar when it would please the song. “Second Go” dazzled, ‘Lions!” got the crowd jumping, “February Air” and “Ice” were both chilly cool crowd-pleasers, “The Listening” was a sweet galaxy of swirling synths,” and “Quiet” was anything but with the audience singing along to every word.

But real show-stealers were the new songs she played, including her new single “My Boots,” which went over with the eager crowd just as well as the tried and true favorites, “Romance Is”  from the Acoustic EP, a gorgeous ballad she performed with her acoustic guitar, and “Cactus In The Valley,” a folksy tune LIGHTS wrote while feeling exhausted from touring and contemplating giving up, featuring heartfelt lyrics like, “Wipe the mark of sadness from my face/Show me that your love will never change/If my yesterday is a disgrace/Tell me that you still recall my name.”

Cover songs also ruled the night. LIGHTS treated the fans to a song she called “one of those amazing songs that change the way you sleep at night.” “They’re climbing in your windows, snatching your people up,” she sang while strumming her guitar. The crowd erupted in cheers and fits of laughter as they realized LIGHTS was performing a startlingly lovely rendition of Antoine Dodson‘s “Bed Intruder Song.” When the laughs died down, LIGHTS followed with The Who’s “Behind Blue Eyes.” A bouncy bass-heavy cover of “Close To Me” by The Cure would also come later in the night.

“This is the most fun I’ve had on tour,” LIGHTS told her adoring fans. The connection between the two is apparent. LIGHTS made it a point to converse with the crowd often between songs, and not just for the usual “I wrote this song…” anecdotes. “I really like Baltimore a lot. The best seafood I’ve had has always been here. This is a beautiful city you’ve got here.” A fan informed the singer of a recent Travel + Leisure magazine list which puts Baltimore at No. 2 for having the ugliest residents in the country. “That’s horrible!” she said with genuine shock. “I only see inner beauty!”

LIGHTS’ tour continues on in Philadelphia tonight.

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