Well, the good news is that St. Lucia puts on a good show through even through a chain-link fence. I think any of the folks languishing in the late afternoon sun (I call us South by Folsom Prison) after Spotify House stopped letting anyone in from its Jörmungandr-esque line would agree.
St. Lucia, the Brooklyn synth-pop outfit fronted by South African sonic wonder Jean-Philip Grobler, came to SXSW with new album “Matter” fueling a desire for romance at its most optimistic.
Grobler, dripping sweat in preppy Caribbean beachwear, is the kind of performer that should be the “male pop superstar” white whale, among the Katys and the Taylors. His voice, full of triumph, reached past security barriers clear as day with every punctuating backward head throw on “Do You Remember.” Fan fave song “Closer Than This” showcased the band’s knack for a big-hearted hook and that rich, elastic percussion. And “Walking On Glass” served all the ’80s pastel pop you needed to live. It would have felt breezy if Grobler’s shirt hadn’t been translucent.
The singer is a stage-edge strutter, a helicopter-arm swinger, a hip thruster. The on-the-nose jam “Physical” couldn’t have been further from Olivia Newton-John, as Grobler’s slippery, handsome stage presence worked itself into a fevered kick/neck-whip/back-bend when he screamed “But my body’s yours tonight.”
Everyone needs at least one spring break boyfriend.
If I could only see one St. Lucia song NOT through a fence, you better believe I'm glad it was "Elevate." #SXSWpic.twitter.com/EWkcLr8aSR
— Eric Webb (@webbeditor) March 18, 2016
Some of the sequestered were finally let into the crowd for the final song, the mythic “Elevate.” And everything did seem higher: temperatures, spirits and serotonin levels, all to the credit of St. Lucia.