February 25, 2017

After seeing Lemuria for the first time this past October at Fest 15, I was a newly converted fan. Since then, I had been trying to figure out when I would have the opportunity to see them again. Thankfully, Lemuria made their return to Gainesville, FL, a few days ago to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their debut album, Get Better. As an added bonus, the band brought their long-time friends, Mikey Erg and Cayetana, with them.

For this date, Gainesville local Jason Guy Smiley opened the show. The folk-punk singer played a variety of songs both new and old, but the biggest surprise of his set came in the form of a cover of Camp Cope’s “Stove Lighter.” Camp Cope’s singer, Georgia Maq, played her first show in America as a solo performance at Fest, and I certainly didn’t think I’d be hearing that song live again anytime soon.

As more people filed into the venue, Mikey Erg took the stage. Because his solo work features multiple instruments, I wasn’t sure how his songs would translate to a live setting due to it being just him with his guitar. That concern quickly dwindled as his set continued, because Mikey’s energetic performance definitely did the songs justice. During his closing song, “Comme Si About Me,” Cayetana’s vocalist, August Koch, as well as Tony Flaminio both accompanied on backing vocals.

Next up were Philadelphia natives Cayetana, who recently announced their upcoming sophomore record, New Kind of Normal. On top of playing its single, “Mesa,” they also performed several unreleased tracks. Their music touches on a variety of personal topics like anxiety, and, while premiering a new song about mental health, Augusta made sure to note how important it is to take care of yourself. Overall, Cayetana’s lyrics mesh flawlessly with their energetic indie rock sound, and they had the crowd singing along and dancing the whole time.

With no barricade in the venue, the crowd got as close to the stage as they could while waiting for Lemuria to take the stage. When Lemuria finally came out, they kicked off the set with the track “Pants,” and they continued by playing Get Better in its entirety. The band went nonstop from one song to the next, but, on multiple occasions, vocalist Sheena Ozella did stop to thank the crowd for making them feel so welcome. With Tony Falminio playing multiple instruments on this tour, songs like “Lipstick” now have a fuller sound thanks to the live addition of  the keys that are featured on the album.

While this tour is a reunion of friends for the bands on the bill, it was a reunion for me as well. Following Lemuria’s set at Fest, I became friends with a couple in the crowd who had come down from Canada to see the band. While we were strangers at the time, we sang along to Lemuria together, and, with them coming back to Gainesville to see the band perform on this tour, it felt like October all over again.

Ultimately, this tour is a must see for anyone who is a fan of alternative indie rock music. If they’re coming to your city, make sure to buy some tickets. If they’re not, grab some friends and make a road-trip out of it. Either way, you won’t regret it.


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