INVSN Live @ Barboza
September 27, 2017
Words and Photos by Stephanie Oster
Insane expectations are reasonable when it comes to Dennis Lyxzén.
What little I’d heard of the band before their show this last fall at Barboza was lot poppier than I had expected, but live shows always make or break a band for me and, in hindsight, I’m really glad I went.
Barboza is a small intimate setting and getting to see one of my heroes so close is always a wonderful thing…but more importantly, the show was dynamic, the music rocked a lot more in a live setting. Lyxzen’s energy on-stage was transcendent.
In between songs, the performer talked about the political condition in the United States, discussed role of political activism in young people, told jokes, and shared stories…some cynical, some hopeful…all very true and reflective of the current state of things in the world. He got the audience engaged, and he got them laughing.
I thought it was interesting that they chose to cover a Lana Del Rey song, because to me she exemplifies the current condition of young people in the USA…fucked up, crazy, beautiful, dreamy, in love and depressingly hopeful while not really attempting to activate a generation to do any of the work. I love Lana – she is crazy talented – but what is the point? This choice in covers seemed like a smart insight into our culture.
Adding to the experience, the wall between stage and crowd didn’t exist. INVSN is a very palatable platform for the band to get these more challenging themes across. It is more accessible than you’d expect from this group of musicians, but that might be what makes INVSN so important – the potential to reach listeners that The Refused and International Noise Conspiracy never will.
I’m always left in a cloud whenever I see Dennis perform, and although the poppy nature of INVSN’s recorded music had me skeptical at first, I’m glad that he is always evolving, and attempting to reach new audiences. His band is enormously talented as well, resulting in that rare and wonderful combination of raw talent, visceral energy and true substance.
See more of Stephanie’s INVSN pictures on our Flickr page