Review: Local Natives @ Bottom of the Hill, SF 6/3/10
Speaking of Local Natives, I was lucky enough to score a press pass to the second show that the band had planned when they rolled through San Francisco last week, and I was pretty much guaranteed to have an amazing time given how much I love their debut album, Gorilla Manor. If you haven’t picked up this release yet, you should pick it up and throw it on before you read this review. I’ll give away my ending to this entire writeup, too, and simply say that you’d be missing out on one of the best new bands in the indie rock scene that I’ve seen in a long time if you don’t catch up and learn about what makes their melodies and songs so impressive for a debut.
Maybe they’ve had some time to hone their sound, because this band brought the house down after a surprisingly dull set from the openers, Suckers. Maybe it wasn’t my thing — I remarked to my buddy that they sounded like “a shitty MGMT” — and it paled in comparison to the type of stage presence and command that Local Natives brought out when they opened the show. I’m not sure on the setlist they played, and the flow could have been a little better at times, but it really was one of the best shows I’ve seen from a new, indie band on the scene. Their cover of the Talking Heads oddity, “Warning Sign,” can bring chills to even the most jaded of hipsters and hippies alike, and they brought it out early in the set to save room for some of their stronger originals to take center stage. My favorite on the album, “Sun Hands,” was definitely a treat for the encore and left the place sweaty and fulfilled after a really concise run through the band’s tiny catalog.
I loved the show and I would go see these guys in a heartbeat. They’re playing at Bonnaroo on Thursday and we’ll likely see plenty of highlights from this band in the future as they continue their debut tour push. These guys sound like they’ve been harmonizing for years, though, and it shows in their live approach. I am just remembering that they mentioned that they would be back to San Francisco in September, so they must have a fine set of dates past their already announced tour itinerary.
Check out some of our crappy iPhone photos below…
Here were some other thoughts on the show…
It’s a shame, though, that this wave of I Don’t Care came during Local Natives because they’re better than 90% of the other bands just like them. It’s just that if I see another band where the lead singer has a drum, the 2nd lead singer has a giant mustache, and the bass player wears a painter’s cap with the lid turned up, and I’m standing in the middle of a bunch of apathetic attendees, I’m going to go home early.
About the author
Justin Ward is the Editor at Live Music Blog and has been with the site from the very beginning. He currently lives in San Francisco and regularly tweets other stuff over @justinpward.
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