Lenka delivers quite “The Show” at The Middle East

Power outages and a 100-plus degree venue were not advertised on the poster at The Middle East for Lenka’s show on July 19 but both made surprise appearances. Despite some technical difficulties and playing on a more than sweaty night, Lenka delivered a show that made her fans forget about all their troubles.

Her current tour comes after the release of her third studio album titled Shadows which came out on June 2. While Lenka certainly dipped into her latest set of songs to play during her set, she didn’t shy away from playing more than a few tracks off her first two albums.

The native Australian took the stage after Satellite opened the night, powering through the power outage that happened during the band’s set. Electricity was restored just in time for Lenka to start, though she admitted to her crowd she was willing to go on with or without power.

“Let’s just do the show on the floor naked,” Lenka exclaimed jokingly before diving into her first song: “Don’t Let Me Fall.” The laid back feel of the song set the tone for the night, which was to let Lenka’s contagiously bubbly personality make you forget about your long Friday.

Through the first few songs, it was difficult to hear Lenka when she was interacting with the crowd. The Middle East had another band playing in the room next door to hers. It didn’t take away from songs like “Don’t Let Me Fall” or the unreleased track “Insomniac,” but it was certainly troublesome. It had that feeling of when someone’s cell phone rings at the movie theatre; it took you out of the moment and atmosphere of the show.

Creative Commons/Photo by Flickr user Amit Chattopadhyay

Luckily for the sweaty and packed crowd who came out to enjoy her sound, the rival music died down and Lenka’s soothing voice took over.

After playing “Monsters” and “No Harm Tonight,” Lenka addressed the elephant in the room regarding the temperature, joking that she sung the last verse of the latter with sweat trickling down her eyebrow.

“Thank you all for coming out tonight. I actually haven’t had great luck in Boston, this is probably the biggest show I’ve played here,” Lenka told the audience.

Not that her band was struggling by any means but Lenka decided to have two members of Satellite join her on stage for the remainder of her set. Bringing in the new additions almost on a whim furthered the relaxed feel of the entire set. It had that cozy feel of an open mic night at your local coffee shop or seeing a college band at a friend’s place. The only difference between those two situations and Lenka’s show was that the headliner has had her latest album reach No. 22 on the Billboard top 100 albums.

Towards the end of the night, Lenka took requests for songs from the audience, had a fan volunteer to take down her drink order to give to the bartender and jokingly flirted with one the audience members in the front row. She even showed off her best Boston accent before singing “Heart to the Party” off her latest album.

As the show wound down Lenka began to play “Knock, Knock,” a song she had trouble remembering the words to at times, and you couldn’t help but feel the stresses of the week melt away.

“We haven’t played this song in a million years,” she said before going into the track off her debut album and throwing in some tambourine play. As expected, Lenka finished the show by playing the song that she is most well-known for: “The Show.”

The fans began to cheer as the opening of the song played and by the end they were chanting along with Lenka to the lyrics: “I want my money back!” The only money that was being given after however, was from fans who bought merchandise from Lenka’s booth that she ran herself after the set.

There were certainly some trip-ups and an uncomfortable heat throughout the night, but all the drawbacks were out of Lenka’s control. What she could control however, was the mood of the room and the quality of her songs. She succeeded on both fronts, delivering a set that couldn’t help but put audience members in a better mood afterwards.