Performance Friday, February 7, 2014 | 10 PM

Lake Street Dive

Zankel Hall
Lake Street Dive’s catchy brand of pop jumps with jazz’s rhythmic freedom and grooves like the funkiest soul music. Inspired by classic pop, rock, and soul, Lake Street Dive’s cleverly written songs are filled with buoyant melodies that are complemented by the band’s polished musicianship.

This concert is part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.


  • Lake Street Dive

Event Duration

The program will last approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.


  • Lake Street Dive

    The members of Lake Street Dive find themselves on the cusp of stardom, though they insist they will always be the same people whose stage outfits once consisted of matching sweater vests. "We realize this could all go away tomorrow," says Rachael Price. "But that won't change what we do. We want to continue to do this for a long, long time. This is what we love. We just want to make sure we keep enjoying ourselves."

    The four musicians have been performing for nearly a decade after meeting as fellow students at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The band was handpicked by Minneapolis trumpet-guitar player Michael Olson and named after an actual neighborhood of seedy bars in his hometown. Vocalist Rachael Price came from outside Nashville, stand-up bassist Bridget Kearney was an Iowa native, while drummer Michael Calabrese called Philadelphia home. "I wasn't only impressed with their musicianship," says Olson, who acquired the nickname "McDuck" while at the conservatory for his reclusive ways. "They were also a lot of fun just to hang out with. The first four years of rehearsals were more like glorified dinner parties."

    Lake Street Dive has come a long way, but this just could be the start of something even bigger.

    It took a casually made video that featured the band gathered around a single microphone, performing a cover of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," shot on a Brighton, Massachusetts, street corner to grab the public's attention-its YouTube views now hurtling past one million. What followed was nothing less than a modern-day music business success story-T Bone Burnett tapping them to perform on the Another Day, Another Time show at Town Hall that featured music from and inspired by the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, taped for an upcoming special on Showtime.

    And just like that, Lake Street Dive went from playing for a small devoted following, to selling out venues and planning an initial European tour, with dates on several late-night TV shows in the offing.

    While "I Want You Back," a track from their six-song Fun Machine EP (which included five covers and an original track), was spreading like wildfire on the internet, the band had little idea what was happening. They were ensconced at Great North Sound Society, a recording studio located on an 18th-century farmhouse in Parsonsfield, Maine (two hours from Boston), with producer-engineer Sam Kassirer-a location so remote, cell phone reception was spotty and web access non-existent.

    "Our musical development has been like Google Earth," explains Olson, "going from the entire universe to a specific place. That's how we've honed in on our sound. We had the whole world of music at our fingertips, and we were unsure of what direction to take, but now we're zeroing in a little closer."

    All four members of the band have taken part in the writing on Lake Street Dive's soon-to-be-released Bad Self Portraits (Signature Sounds Recording), the follow-up to a self-titled debut and subsequent EP. The Kearney-penned title track is a wry commentary on how those selfie iPhone photos are just a cover for loneliness, but it could also refer to the rest of the album, each song a polaroid-like glimpse of a band that is constantly evolving.

    "Nothing we do is set in stone," says Olson about the band's recording process in the studio, and that they are, first and foremost, a live outfit. "Songs change when we start to play them for people. That determines the stylistic direction more than anything else. When we record a song, that's just a snapshot of where it was at that moment. And it continues to grow as we perform it."

    And as things are rapidly growing for Lake Street Dive, the nine years that they spent focusing on their musical development has left them with one constant for which to strive. "We are named in homage to dive bar bands," says Calabrese, "we were, are, and always will be a dive bar band. Whether we're playing for 10 people or 10,000, we want them to have that feeling."

    More Info


Rich Girl
Lake Street Dive | Fun Machine
2012 Signature Sounds

Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with WFUV.
This performance is part of Non-Subscription Events.