Lucius with Danielle Ponder at Rams Head Live

Last night I went back to Rams Head Live for the first time since the pandemic started to see Lucius with Danielle Ponder opening. Rams Head is an ok venue. I don’t have any super strong feelings about it one way or the other. I don’t think it’s an amazing place to see a show, but I also don’t think it’s a terrible place to see a show either. The best part about it is how close to home it is. I like a venue I can get to in 15 minutes with parking that is quick to get out of.

This was my first time seeing Danielle Ponder. She’s only really starting to make a much bigger name for herself. She was a public defender for most of her adult life. She quit that job back in 2018 to start to pursue a music career, and in 2021 finally quit her job as a lawyer completely just before her 40th birthday to really go after her music career full time. It seems to be working out for her. I first became acquainted with her music a few months ago when she was WXPN’s artist to watch for the month. I think the phrase Funk & Soul & Hip Hop & Love & Justice that she has written on a bunch of her merch pretty much perfectly describes what she’s all about. Her music pulls from those influences and more while a lot of her lyrics are about love and justice. So there you have it. It was a fairly short set, but I very much enjoyed it. You can tell she loves performing and interacting with an audience. She finished off her set with a soulful cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”, which she made sound much better than they ever did.

Lucius is still touring behind their album Second Nature, which is was one of my favorite albums of 2022. So of course the majority of the songs they played were off the album, though they did mix it up with some older song, a new song, and some covers. They sadly did not play my favorite song off the album, which is “Dance Around It”. They did play “Heartbursts”, which is my second favorite, so I guess I’ll take that. It was a very dance inspired show because the album itself is very dance and disco influenced with the idea of dancing your way through the pain. The pain in this case being both the pandemic and the divorce of singer Jess Wolfe and the band’s drummer Dan Molad. I joke a little that this is their Fleetwood Mac moment because they made a really great break up album and are still out there playing together. I don’t know how they go out there on stage together every night and sing songs about what I would guess is one of the worst times in their lives, but good for them I guess. I mean I’m still happy the band is around and making great music and performing fun shows. They did play some more ballad-y songs as well including “The Man I’ll Never Find”, which is a great song. When the album came out I read a story somewhere in which Jess said that she wrote it about the end of their relationship but told Dan she wouldn’t share it if he didn’t want her to. He apparently told her it was the best song she’d ever written and it had to go on the album. I don’t know what it was called, but they played one new song that I adored. It was much more guitar forward than a lot of their previous music which is pretty synth and keys heavy. I didn’t recognize it but was thinking wow I really love this song. Why do I not remember it? Then they said it was a new one. So that it explains it. Anyway, if that’s what I have to look forward to on the next album I can’t wait.

The show was far from sold out. They didn’t even have the upper levels open to keep everyone corralled on the main level to create more of a crowd. This is why we can’t have nice things Baltimore. I don’t know why Lucius doesn’t have a bigger following here. I personally enjoyed having some space and not being smushed in a crowd of people. Plus I was able to walk right up and get my favorite spot along the rail in the weird raised area in the back next to the sound booth. It means I’m a few steps higher than the people in front of me so I can see over the crowd and there are generally fewer people trying to stand back there even when it is a sold out show. My husband has never gone to a concert with me at Rams Head and even he knows about my spot. As I was walking out the door he shouted, “I hope you get your spot!”. Thankfully I did. Even though the crowd was not that large people were into it, so it was a fun night all around.

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