Lannen @ Bill's Bar, Boston

When I was in my early-20s, my roommate introduced me to a local band, Lannen Fall.  She somehow knew all the guys and we would frequently go see their live shows.  This was probably the first point in my life where I was really getting into music and the idea of seeing live performances was still novel to me.  I thought it was so cool that a local band had an album that I could buy on iTunes (this was pre-Spotify) and play over and over again.  Honestly, I probably listened to their first album, Stories, hundreds of times.  I knew all the words and could sing along with we went to their gigs.  I guess I might have been considered a bit of a fangirl at that time.

Over the years, people grew up and parted ways, and while I no longer speak to that roommate, I still listen to the Lannen Fall album (now on my Spotify playlist) when I'm feeling nostalgic.  I recently noticed that they dropped the "Fall" and now go by just Lannen, so when I saw that they were going to be doing a live show near me, I was excited to get the opportunity to hear what they sound like now.

After taking a brief hiatus and getting a new bassist, the guys from Lannen put out a new album, Anchor & Chain, last year.  Inspired by bands like Jimmy Eat World, Kings of Leon, Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters, the nine songs on the new album sound markedly different than their old album.  Besides the fact that they have all matured musically and lyrically, the new album has a much different feel from their older songs.  Also this time around, they all contributed to the writing process, with each of them having a larger part in the creation of certain songs.

Knowing that their new music was so different from their old songs, I was really interested to see how their live show changed over the years.  The band used to tour for periods of time years ago and amassed a fairly large following of fans.  The shows I would see in my 20s were packed full of people who would dance and sing along to all their songs, and I wondered if the same group would be at their "Lannen's Luau - See Ya Later, Winter" show.

 Lannen @ Anchor & Chain, Boston

Lannen @ Anchor & Chain, Boston

I got to the venue, Bill's Bar near Fenway Park, while the guys were setting up for their sound check.  After some catching up and getting suckered into helping decorate the bar (I ended up blowing up a dozen or so inflatable beach balls and palm trees), the opening bands (Nick and the Adversaries and Major Moment) started the night off and people began to filter into the bar.  By 9pm, Lannen was getting ready to start their set and a large gathering of people had settled at the front of the stage.  The started off with the upbeat Seasons and people immediately started to get into the music.  Just like I remembered from years before, their fans were completely absorbed in the songs.  By the time they got to Brooklyn Summer, most of the crowd was now singing along and batting around beach balls.  Even if you'd never heard the songs before, it's hard to not get pulled into the music and sing/dance along.  The second half of the set started with the slower set Waiting Wolf and the bluesy/indie rock ballad Anchor & Chain, before picking back up with The Songs We Never Sung.  (Talking with the guys later on, I found out that this was the song that the lead singer was most proud of, and the one they band first started with once they began writing the new album.)  After playing If I Can’t Fix You No One Can, the band then closed out the night with the fan favorite Thank You while the crowd loudly sang along. All in all, it seemed like everyone in the audience thoroughly enjoyed the show.

So was Lannen as good ten years later?

Actually, I think they are better.  And I'm not just saying that because I know them.  I legitimately enjoy their new music as much (if not more) than their old album.  Since seeing them perform, I've downloaded Anchor & Chain on Spotify and have listened to it multiple times.  There is a weird sense of nostalgia that I get listening to it, although the album is only a year old and truly sounds different from their first album.  And they definitely still know how to put on a good show.  I wasn't expecting everyone there to know all the lyrics and be so into the songs, but it was an amazing feeling to be around that kind of energy.  To have fans that stick with you for over ten years is seriously a feat, and I can honestly say that their show has rejuvenated this former fangirl's interest.

At this time, Lannen will be performing around New England/New York, promoting Anchor & Chain before getting started on their next album. Listen here:

Jay Tagg - Vocals, Guitar
Ryan Mercedes - Guitar, Vocals
Dennis Walsh - Bass
Matt Wishnack - Drums

Contributor: Erin Duggan @mysocalledsemiadultlife