March 13, 2015
An unassuming Friday night filled the downtown Boise air as a mix of regulars and concertgoers trickled in to the Neurolux.
Slated for a sure-to-deliver show from Georgia’s New Madrid, the buzz in the retro venue began to build as show time approached. Suddenly it became apparent that the house was packed and excitement for the opening acts was swirling. The chaos of house music, bar patrons, and supporters nearly overwhelmed any hopes at a normal conversation, but the name First Chair floated on the crowd with ease.
The duo of Lanae Alvis and Rase Littlefield (Rase would later be forgiven for his 49ers jersey) took to the stage and humbly, almost bashfully, announced they are called First Chair and this is their first ever live set.
What happened next lies somewhere between the makings of a legend and the epitome of beauty.
Littlefield took to his drum kit as comfortably as any well-seasoned rhythm section, his beat poured out of him like a musical possession where the only natural way to release his feelings are on the skins. Alvis began to stride confidently across the keys as if painting a musical masterpiece and then…she sang.
Suddenly, the entire venue was standing in a collective, captivated awe. No one spoke; not even a sound. As if baptizing, not only their musical existence as a live duo, but all those in attendance, the sound of First Chair emanated a striking level of mastery. Finishing the first song, the crowd erupted and for a moment seemed to forget the rest of the world even existed.
Lanae Alvis delivers a smoky, sultry sound that lingers on your ears like the Winehouses and Adeles of larger scale. Rase Littlefield commands his rhythms. As if exercising a possessed precision he is able to explode at the right moments and reel it in when its right, never showing signs of fatigue. Together, the Boise duo permeated a bluesy, progressive jazz sound that was as daring as it was memorable.
Rarely does an opening band draw the crowd in so deeply. But for one night in Boise, the stars aligned and delivered a performance that was nothing short of stunning. If this is how they start their career the rest of the world is now officially on notice that great, and we mean great, things are yet to come.