Thousands of fans packed the BOK Center on Halloween night to welcome the group LANY back home to Tulsa.
Frontman Paul Klein, drummer Jake Goss and touring guitarists/keyboardists Kim Vi and Eric “Puff” Scarborough each donned skeleton costumes as they took the stage for the fifth stop of their gg bb xx tour — one that meant a lot to Klein, Goss and Scarborough, who are all Tulsa natives.
While the band was clearly enjoying themselves as they played upbeat pop hits like “dancing in the kitchen” and “never mind, let’s break up,” a sentimental feeling lingered in the room as the performance signified just how far the band has come since their humble beginnings on SoundCloud in 2014.
“My mom is here, my dad is here — everyone I know is here,” Klein said during a break taken to introduce each member of the band. “I owe you everything, Tulsa.”
LANY’s two-level stage setup reflected the dynamic of the band. Klein occupied the lowest level closest to the audience, using the space to dance and interact with fans standing in the BOK’s floor section. Vi, Goss and Scarborough commanded the upper level, remaining focused on the music and letting Klein handle much of the crowd work and banter.
The band performed songs from each of their four studio albums, “LANY,” “Malibu Nights,” “mama’s boy” and their most recent project, “gg bb xx,” released Sept. 3.
There was no shortage of the buoyant, synth-laden dance tracks the band is known for. High points of LANY’s performance included “ex i never had,” a retaliatory breakup anthem that Klein took to a raised box to sing to the audience, who seemed to know every word. Later, Klein ran into the crowd to sing “If You See Her,” eventually settling in Section 121 as audience members took videos and attempted to touch Klein’s tattooed arms.
LANY and the audience shared a special moment when it came time to perform “cowboy in LA,” a stripped-down, slower track that pays homage to the band’s Oklahoma origins. As Klein plucked away at a black electric guitar, fans sang along to the lyrics: “Thunder, pickups and cheap gasoline / Lightning, best show that I've ever seen / And you get up every day, and you work hard for your pay / Happy in a pair of jeans / Oklahoma, it made a man out of me.” Hundreds of LANY fans touted cowboy hats of every color and pattern, leaning into their Oklahoma roots as well.
Klein — a classically trained piano player — took breaks to sit at the piano and perform some of LANY’s slow-burning, emotional songs. Perhaps no instance was more poignant than when Klein invited his and Goss’ parents to the stage to perform “if this is the last time.” Klein played piano while fighting back tears as he sang sentimental lyrics focused on family and gratitude. Goss' and Klein’s parents sat on stools center stage, beaming with pride as their sons performed at the BOK Center for the first time while home videos of Goss and Klein as children played on screens above them.
Musically, LANY is very skilled. Songs like “Thru These Tears” and “Malibu Nights” allowed Klein to show off his vocal range and piano skills, adding depth to the performance. Goss’ drum sound was consistently on point, keeping the band on tempo while also providing welcomed heaviness to songs like “Thick and Thin.” The addition of both Vi and Scarborough on guitar felt necessary as they brought a much-needed edge to “Hurts,” one of the band’s earliest tracks.
LANY’s last performance in Tulsa was at the Tulsa Theater in 2018. The transition to the bigger venue felt appropriate for the band and their performance. Zealous fans were packed wall to wall, and LANY’s sound felt dynamic, sweeping and impassioned.
After a double encore spent playing “you!” and “ILYSB” (the band’s most-streamed song on Spotify), Klein, Goss, Vi and Scarborough took a much-deserved bow after over two hours of performing. A screen above them displayed the word “HOME” as the four men stood with their arms around each other, facing the hometown audience that has championed them from the beginning.
“My mom is here, my dad is here — everyone I know is here. I owe you everything, Tulsa.” - Paul Klein