Review by Tadgh O’Connor

Local Natives at The Village on November 15th 2010

The self deprecatingly named, We Are Losers, supported. Arriving onstage to little applause they started their set with The Narcissist. They worked their way through their set, made up of surf influenced lo-fi. As they did they drew more and more away from the bar and too their attention.

“Live music, featuring crowd chatter and tuning” jokes front man Gavin Elsted (Also of Super Extra Bonus Party) “right that was useless, here’s a song” They continued with their call backs of 60’s pop and 90’s grunge. There was an abundance of harmonies of “ooo’s” and “eee’s”

Despite the initial lukewarm reception and the banter with the crowd, We Are Losers played a fantastic set. They came across as modest praising Local Natives once or twice. Having only released their debut EP a couple of weeks ago, supporting Local Natives so soon is only testimony to their caliber and foresight to where they’re heading.

La’s Local Natives arrive onstage and take their respective places. Instantly their stage presence becomes apparent as they (bar the drummer) line up along the front of the stage. They break down into a fury of layered guitar and piano with beatles-esque harmonies. The crowd his euphoric, being risen by the next song before the previous lays them back down.

The band pauses during their set after completing Talking Heads cover, Warning sign. “How are you Dublin”, they go on to inform us that it’s their “last time in town for a while” and reveal their intent to get started on a follow-up to 09’s Gorilla Manor. They break into Wide Eyes, with its chaotic drums. Both their keyboardist and bassist contribute to this, with their bassist, Andy Hamm, walking over to the drum kit with his own set of sticks and adding to the massive percussive sound.

The band is constantly in a state of flux switching instruments, swapping roles constantly. Moving onto Shape Shifter, the band introduces a soulful ballad full of soul and longing intent. This is then juxtaposition against the upbeat pop refrains of Cubism Dream. Guitarist, Ryan Hahn, picks up a mandolin for Airplanes and treats the crowd who swallow it up with their response “I want you back”.

As the set comes to a close everyone’s spirits are high and the crowd sings along with everything, including the guitar in World News. They finish up their roughly hour-long set and come back with a two song false encore. They sign off on the night with Sun Hands. Every danced through it, singing through the chorus’, Taylor Rice even leaves it up to the crowd to sing a verse. Baron of anything but drums and bass the crowd screams out “and when I can’t feel with my sun hands, I promise not to lose her again”. The band then join in a triumphant strained chorus of shouting before the band breaks into a free-for-all. They tone it back and wrap up the song as per normal.

Local Natives have me excited for their new album, new set-list and to see them again. Unfortunately I won’t be able to until their new album is out but as they say “hunger is the best sauce”. Live their full of perfected intricacies and well practiced harmonies. Drums and maracas make work for idle hands about the stage, but also fills out their sound. There is no ounce of this band you don’t feel live. The emotion and warmth of the album comes across without a hitch but by no means is it homogeneous. It’s honest and raw but still articulate. A truly fantastic band, in studio or not.