October 27, 2012
Before last night's show at the Constellation Room, White Arrows tweeted, “it's soooo weird that this massive line outside of our show are all wearing A$VP Rocky Shirts. O____o” But despite the fact that most occupants in The Observatory were in fact there to see the hip-hop star and his crew perform, it didn't stop the Los Angeles-based quintet from performing with every ounce of energy they had left.
The tropical psych-poppers spent the last month on the road, circumnavigating the United States with Maps & Atlases and Family of the Year, and Saturday's show marked the last night of their tour (as well as a headlining gig). It was apparent that the guys were a little exhausted from tour, but they still played with an electric energy and confident demeanor that their prior Southern California shows had lacked.
Band leader Mickey Church was dressed in an eccentric hawaiian-esque shirt and kitschy “pot leaf” sunglasses as the band aptly began its set with “Roll Forever,” an anthem about, well, ecstasy. The song's hazy, saccharine pop riffs got the crowd hooked instantly, and as White Arrows continued their set the audience went from swaying to downright dancing.
Masked behind a wall of smoke machine-induced fog, the five-piece was in its own world. Each member grooved to the music he was creating, on many occasions taking the extra time to zone out and jam. Though Church engaged with his audience, he directed most of his concentration on the rest of his band, often turning his back to face the drummer while they dove into instrumental breakdowns.
During their 45-minute set, White Arrows played selections off their recently released debut full-length, Dry Land Is Not A Myth, including “I Can Go,” a track that Church admitted they barely ever play. The ten songs that comprise the album possess a sort of intergalactic, tropical charm recorded, but live even the slower numbers take on a new life as the band's own charisma creates a vigor in the songs that just cannot be replicated in the studio. White Arrows is a band that is meant to be seen in a live setting, and as long as they continue to garner tour opportunities, the lines outside of venues will be full with fans wearing their t-shirts.
Critical Bias: White Arrows' stage presence/performance ability has grown tenfold since their last tour
Crowd: Underage “hip” kids and people stumbling in from the A$AP Rocky show at The Observatory
Overheard in the Crowd: “Yeah, it's a rock band!”
Random Notebook Dump: Not many bands can rock Hawaiian and tie dye shirts these days, but White Arrows make them look goooood.