Scenes From Saturday Night's Sold-Out Local Natives Show.
Back in 2010, when they released their critically-acclaimed Gorilla Manor debut, the Los Angeles-based Local Natives became instant darlings in the indie scene. And nearly three years later, with the release of the band's follow-up, Hummingbird, it's clear that the adoration for this band hasn't slowed. Not one bit.
Case in point: Saturday night's show at South Side Music Hall sold out — and months in advance, at that.
As that massive crowd piled into the hall, their anticipation for the headlining band palpable, another L.A. band, Superhumanoids, started the night off and held the crowd's attention — something the band's keyboard player seemed to especially appreciate.
“Thank you so much for paying so much attention to us,” he said to the crowd, repeatedly.
It was a humble display, maybe, but the band should give themselves more credit. Their dreamy, electric-pop sound may be a bit slow in tempo, but their set offered enough variety and '80s-synth to avoid dullness.
Local Natives' 15-song set, of course, was anything but dull. They began their offering with “Mt. Washington” from the new release before getting into that album's lead single, “Breakers.” Impressively, the band's harmonies throughout their performance were just as flawless and captivating as their on-album ones.
Seems the love went two ways on this night, too. Guitarist and vocalist Taylor Rice took time out to acknowledge his adoring crowd and his fondness for their “Texas hospitality.” This happens at most shows, sure. But you almost couldn't help but believe Rice as he said it on this night.
Texas has been good to his band. Local Natives' 2009 South By Southwest appearance helped launch the band into what it is today. In 2011, the band headlined 35 Denton (then known as 35 Conferette). Mostly, though, Rice fondly recalled playing Sons of Hermann Hall in 2009 to fewer than 200 people.
There were boos at one point in the set, however. But they were planned ones, really. When the crowd recognized the first notes of “Airplanes,” a song that features audible boos on its recorded version, the crowd offered up a chorus of boos in kind.
It was a comical and lighthearted moment — a nice contrast to the the moving and affecting “Colombia,” which closed the pre-encore set. Then, after leaving the stage for a few minutes, the band returned to perform a three-song encore featuring “Wooly Mammoth” and “Who Knows Who Cares.” And, to put a cap on the night, the band finished with fan favorite “Sun Hands.”
Three years later — and for what seems like many more years to come — it seems as Local Natives will always be our darlings.