Tuesday nights aren’t necessarily the best time to catch (or book) a live show in Lawrence, but this week’s Tuesday night set at the Replay was one of the most satisfying and visually stunning shows to hit the venue all year.
Night Drive, out of Austin, completely immersed us in all things 80’s. Prior to the show, staffers at the Replay were feverishly posting online about the band, comparing them to Joy Division and The Cure. But in all honesty, the band was more than just an homage to one of the best eras in music. They took those electronic and new wave influences and created a sound that was all their own using just one instrumentalist and one vocalist. The singer hopped up and down, and occasionally sprung into the dance floor to get intimate with the attendees. If you were ever the kid in high school or college who donned black from head to toe, wore your sunglasses at night, and kept industrial music on your headphones 24/7… this was the band for you. They were just so utterly cool, they may as well have descended from a spaceship and birthed Gary Numan.
Night Drive’s live performance was as much a treat for the eyes as it was for the ears. They had fog bursting out intermittently during every song, while little disco lights projected yellow hues across the venue.
Everything likable about new wave and 80’s electro was perfectly preserved at the Replay on this night. You had Night Drive on the stage, and outside the staff was blaring Joy Division and The Cure on the stereo in celebration. Night Drive is a must-see band, and there’s no telling if they’ll tour through the area again. But, even amidst a summer of nonstop performances and festivals in Lawrence, this will certainly be a performance that will be talked about for weeks to come.
Words and photos by Fally Afani
Bonus video: This may be the best Radiohead cover we’ve heard.