Lake Street Dive returned to Portland on Tuesday, March 14 just about a year after their last visit to the Rose City but still touring behind their 2016 release Side Pony. The Boston four-piece took the stage with confidence and started their set off with the title track from their 2014 release, Bad Self Portraits. Standing in the middle of the audience at the Crystal Ballroom, I could see a packed house truly enjoying the performance. Although there may have been a few people dragged there by a friend or significant other, by the second song, "I Don't Care About You," those newbies to Lake Street Dive had started to dance along with the rest of the crowd.
On the fourth number, touring musician Akie Bermiss joined the band on stage, providing his amazing talent on the keys and tying everything together. Lead singer Rachael Price made a comment about how excited Bermiss was to be wearing his Pi Day shirt since it was 3/14 after all.
Halfway through their set, the band stripped everything down a bit and gathered around a single mic to perform a few songs in the middle of the stage—the first being George Michael's "Faith" for which the audience went wild and wholeheartedly sung along.
Opening the evening was Los Angeles singer-songwriter Joey Dosik. Starting the set acapella, Dosik coaxed an unfamiliar audience to fixate on his presence and gospel-filled vocals. Backed by the jazz-tinged Julian Allen on drums and James Cornelison on bass on the second song, the crowd quickly began grooving to his quirky, yet soothing singing, all accompanied by his unique sense of piano playing. Between songs, Dosik had a knack for interacting with the crowd, sometimes telling stories about the songs or just chatting about his number one passion: basketball—and hyping Damian Lillard to the crowd's delight.
With a full ballroom for Lake Street Dive, it seemed as though everyone knew the lyrics, dancing along with smiles of pure enjoyment on their faces. And when the set came to a close, many were disappointed that it was over—but they also left knowing that they saw an incredible performance at one of Portland's historic venues.