September 17, 2010
There is one think Local Natives have in commone with American Apparel--you hate what their generic names and what they stand for, but you consume them and love both brands avidly because, well, they just produce great shit.
After traveling all over the world this summer, Local Natives kicked off their fall tour last Friday and Saturday in LA, with both shows totally sold out. Aside from a ton of fauxhemian girls squawking nonstop (we will strike out the word
hipster from this blog post for everyone's comfort and convenience), it seemed that the audience was mostly made up of fans who were just glad to witness the Local Natives do a local show again.
Regardless of what everyone says about the band, and how many times they'd seen Taylor Rice & co. sing songs from Gorilla Manor before, it was still a special night. After honing their performance skills from Japan to Amsterdam, the group was tighter than rubber bands wrapped together in a ball.
And while they've ditched their Orange County labels for the cooler "we live and will die in LA" and "it's awesome to be home" mantra, there's just no way to begrudge this band for soaring harmonies, their effortless dynamic and their relentless success.
Here a few highlights of the show:
1. The band walked onto the stage via Prince's "I Would Die For You."
2. The Talking Heads have such an undeniable repertoire, so many, many bands tend to cover their songs--it makes for instant cred. That means there are a lot of awful Talking Heads covers out there. But Local Natives' cover of "Warning Sign" could go arm in arm with the original in dynamism and arrangement--it's a beautiful tribute.
3. The no-frills stage (back lit by strong stage lights and nothing else) emphasized that there is no denying Local Natives' stage presence--or the quality of their songs. They didn't need much else to keep the audience's attention--every song was a singalong, and no one wanted to miss a second of it.
4. It wasn't an intimate show like you would think; instead, it was a big celebration. People were high fiving after hearing their favorite tracks, and every new song was a joyous sing-and-dance along.
5. Local Natives is one of the few bands that is way better live than recorded. Onstage, the band is so alive, their music so vibrant, that listening to Gorilla Manor after the show made their recorded music sound like a cheap Xerox copy of their live show. It was also one of the few shows you feel nostalgic for as soon as you step out of the theater.
6. During this show, I stopped resenting Local Natives for leaving Orange County. These days, they are very much an LA band. After all, home is the city you love and live in. It's also the one that loves you back the most.
7. By the show's end, during "Sun Hands," when the band's skkkrichety guitar riffs were soloing madly, and the percussion was driving the beats, and the band bringing the crowd up, and then down, then up again in a cascade of melody and noise, I had a feeling they didn't want the show to end--although it did, with marvelous, thunderous applause.
Overheard at the show: After singer Taylor Rice said, "I'm gonna die in Los Angeles," a cynic beside me replied, "You're lucky--that mustache makes me want to kill you."
The crowd: Squawking chicks and their boyfriends.
"Warning Sign" (Talking Heads cover)
"Cards and Quarters"
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