Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour (New Found Glory, Less Than Jake, Hot Mulligan, LØLØ)
October 5, 2021 at House of Blues
The scene outside the House of Blues was one uniquely Boston, a swirling crowd of yelling baseball fans, impatient bar-goers, and early general-admissioners waiting to attend the “Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead” tour by New Found Glory with openers Less than Jake and LØLØ. Positioned across the street from Fenway Park, the packed street bristled with energy, a palpable anticipation forming as the sun began to dip behind the towering stands.
Immediately after arriving, LØLØ was spotted standing against the brick exterior. Wearing a cropped Red Sox shirt, a plaid skirt, skull tights and platform black boots, she looked like a walking picture of Avril Lavigne from 15 years ago, paying homage to her genre and influences. She was approached by several fans, who she emphatically talked to and took pictures with before waving goodbye and disappearing through a set of show doors, beginning to prepare for the concert.
House of Blues is a venue that values both practicality and beauty. A large stage, framed by a set of stained-glass motifs and art-deco columns, faced out over a massive room. The mezzanines stood imposingly over a large floor area, walls lined with a stunning array of pictures and portraits. It was a shrine to art of every and any form, a place where one could stand and bask in the music.
The floor was sparse when LØLØ came out. As the first opener, those who were there either came specifically for her, or were diehard fans of the headliner willing to wait a couple hours for a barricade spot. Despite the mellow atmosphere, LØLØ brought with her an intense energy, starting off with a bang with “Death Wish,” a single she released earlier this year. The first impression, and general theme, of her performance was fun. Smiling the whole time, pumping her fist, and jumping along to the heart-pounding rock, she looked like she was having the time of her life, despite an unresponsive crowd.
As LØLØ was one of the openers for New Found Glory, a rock band formed in 1997, the concert-goers were overwhelmingly middle-aged, revisiting their punk eras in line with the name of the tour, there to connect with a band that rose to prominence 20 years ago. LØLØ, a younger Canadian singer who gained her popularity on TikTok, was likely not on their radar. This fact was not unknown to her, as she began her set by yelling “make some noise if you don’t know who the fuck I am!” which was greeted by her largest cheer of the show so far. Despite this, she displayed the same amount of energy and engagement as someone performing in a sold-out stadium, speaking to her commitment to the music. She was there to play her songs, have a good time, and share her music, no matter the crowd.
As the show progressed, she began to connect more and more with the audience. “Dear First Love,” part of her 2020 EP by the same title, got people on their feet and moving despite not knowing the words. “Hate U” even got people singing along as LØLØ whipped her hair on stage, showcasing a natural showmanship that came with a love for the music she was performing. The highlight of the show, however, was her cover of Wheatus’ iconic punk song “Teenage Dirtbag.” Including this song in her set was not only a nod to the genre she is breaking into, but also an incredibly strategic way to connect with a disconnected audience. Capturing the crowd’s attention, she sang with the same electrifying energy, playing off the audience by putting a wig on her guitarist, talking to the crowd and delivering her modernized spin on a classic.
Ending the set with a yell of “Boston I fucking love you!” LØLØ never let her energy die. Both musically and performatively impressive, she delivered a spectacular show to a less than desirable crowd, marking her as an artist dedicated to her craft, and cognizant of the path she’s taking toward recognition. As she begins to accumulate her own following, her future shows will be characterized by a vigorous energy and a love for performance.