Photo by Danielle Krantz

Review by Olivia Valera


Sunday night, a line of elegantly dressed 20-somethings stood winding their way out of the Royale. Situated between large buildings, thick carpeting lead into a beautifully detailed work of architecture. The rich lighting and heavy scarlet curtains offered a perfect backdrop for the evening’s concert: The Last Dinner Party. 


The London-based music group found its beginnings during the COVID-19 lockdown, the idea for the band springing from the conceptualization of a grandiose feast where celebration mixes with the macabre. They came out with their first single “Nothing Matters” in April of 2023, playing festivals in Europe throughout the summer. The highly lyrical song mixes genres of rock and pop, memorable for its strong vocals by lead singer Abby Morris. Their sudden rise to the mainstream has not hindered their method of achieving honest success: making great music. Boston is their fourth stop on their North American tour, supporting their debut album “Prelude to Ecstasy,” which has been met with continual acclaim. 


Led by vocalist Abby Morris, the group finds their way on stage, outfitted with flashy electric guitars and keyboards. She introduces the merry band including Aurora Nishevci, Emily Roberts, Georgia Davies, and Lizzie Mayland. A heavy drum beat and roar of cheers accompanied each musician. I am surprised that the heavily adorned outfits that grace their press photoshoots show up on tour, taking the extra effort and dedication to their performance that few others seem to replicate. 


They open with “Burn Alive,” disregarding pleasantries and getting right into their set. The synths, reminiscent of 80s pop, and rhythmic pulse of bass add to the song’s drama. An ode to the things we do to survive, the lyrics “let me make my grief a commodity,” reflect the theatrics of their performance onto an audience echoing it right back. The musicians stand unapologetically beneath a soft pink hue, reclaiming the seductive violence of the feminine, as they rock out to a modern evaluation of romanticism. I see the passion to create in so many aspects of their presence on stage: the lights, the costumes, the instruments, and the movement–so much movement. Gliding back and forth across the stage, twirling and twisting, Morris looks as if she might take flight. The crowd, myself included, seemed to move closer throughout the show, entranced and attracted to the movement like moths to the light.


For “Portrait of a Dead Girl,” Morris enlisted help from the crowd, inquiring whether any Berklee students were willing to add some vocals. Morris quips that the 5,000 piece choir they used for the studio version was a bit too expensive to bring on tour, but the Boston crowd makes for an enthusiastic alternative. Shifting from soft, playful intros to wicked electric guitar riffs and edgy vocals, the Last Dinner Party’s sound maintains its energy throughout the set. The voices in the audience shout the melodies back to the stage, making me consider who is performing for who. That’s the thing about the Last Dinner Party–they invite you into their festivities, encouraging their listeners to play an active part in the dramatic performance—which elevates the experience for all fortunate enough to be there.


Saving the best for last, the Last Dinner Party ends with a piece of their beginning. “Nothing Matters,” which has reached over 56 million streams on Spotify, and launched them to international success. Morris’ voice reaches out over a crowd filled with anticipation, the sound a bit more raw, striking, and hungry than a recording could ever quite match. The final notes are sung out by musicians and audience as one, a synchrony where we are both performers and spectators of our lives. 


It is hard to imagine that an album with such high quality studio production and vitality could transfer so fully in a live performance, yet the Last Dinner Party manages it. Adding in all the sighs and cries that define their album’s sound, the last notes hang in the air before a thunderous applause. As the lights come up and the hum of chatter and crowd movement begins, I excitedly wonder what is in store for the next album.