Pop Quiz: Lake Street Dive


Aidin Vaziri | Who could have predicted that one of the year’s pop breakthroughs would be Lake Street Dive, a group formed at the New England Conservatory of Music? Even though the quartet came together a decade ago, the stars aligned for the latest album, “Bad Self Portraits,” after it scored a YouTube hit with a sidewalk cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” That clip – with 1.5 million views and counting – got them an invitation to perform at a New York concert for the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” and on “The Colbert Report.” Lake Street Dive plays a sold-out show Friday at the Great American Music Hall. We spoke with trumpeter and guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson.

Q: Are you feeling any pressure now that your audience has grown?

A: Just yesterday somebody in the van was saying, what if we thought a little harder about the lights? And the general consensus was, yeah, maybe someday. The main focus for us is to play the awesomest shows we possibly can, and I think we are. We’ve gotten to this point because the live shows are already awesome. We’ve got that part taken care of.

Q: Are you sure you don’t need lasers?

A: Rachel’s (Price) voice is better than pyrotechnics and laser lights. Watching Mike (Calabrese) play the drums is better than video feed. That’s what people are coming to see. They’re not coming to see a big production. Hopefully.

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