Lucy Kruger (Minus The Lost Boys) at Shangri-La

Lucy Kruger (Minus The Lost Boys) at Shangri-La: + The stripped back performance at Shangri-La was nothing short of riveting.

March 15, 2024 in Concert Reviews

by DJ Rachie

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Photos by DJ Rachie (@rgreendesign)

Tucked away through the back doors and up the patio steps of Shangri-La on the east side, Lucy Kruger and The Lost Boys presented a stripped-down performance on the Reeperbahn Festival stage. Kruger appeared alongside lead guitarist Liú Mottes and, accompanied by a drum track, performed a few interesting tracks from their discography.

The Berlin-based frontwoman had a calm but intense stage persona right off the bat, and the intimate setting fed into the performance. The art-pop stylings of their songs echoed throughout the courtyard, with tracks like “Heaving” and “Fawning” relying on ambient drum echoes, guitar arpeggios, and quiet vocal melodies. Kruger addressed the fact that they were using pre-recorded backing, saying “we are usually five, so you have to imagine three other genius musicians making noise behind us.” However, the size of the venue and audience allowed for a greater connection between artist and listener, despite the missing members.

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Photos by DJ Rachie (@rgreendesign)

The tracklist continued to build in intensity, with an emotional peak during “Howl.” It began with nontraditional guitar playing from Mottes, who knocked on the guitar body and strings to create eerie echoes. With vocals similar to that of Dry Cleaning, Kruger alternated between talk-singing and low impassioned pleas, crying “I wanna scream / You’re beautiful / I wanna be useful.” She prowled onto the edge of the stage and into the crowd, making intense eye contact with individual members of the audience as she growled “you’re perfect” over and over again.

Lucy Kruger’s performance culminated in a tender message about the “confrontational week,” in regards to the dispute between artists and SXSW over the festival’s sponsorship from Raytheon. In response, Kruger played a rendition of the poem “If I Must Die” by Palestinian writer Refaat Alareer that she had composed late last year. The two forwent their backing tracks and performed with only two harmonizing guitars and Kruger’s vocals. The song was a solemn ending to an emotionally charged set.

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Photos by DJ Rachie (@rgreendesign)

Lucy Kruger and the Lost Boys managed to enthrall the audience with their unconventional sound and presence, leaving the room with a palpable desire for more. Hopefully Austin will get to see them again soon, alongside the three missing Lost Boys.

Follow Lucy Kruger and the Lost Boys here

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