Show Review: Local Natives

After seeing Local Natives conquer the main stage a few days earlier at Coachella's first weekend, I was excited to see them in more personal setting. The two sets contrasted immensely. While the Local Natives played during the day at Coachella as the beating sun drowned out their lights, the lighting tech worked magic at the Fox Theater - enhancing the drums and cultivating the mood of each song with gradient waves of colors. For most of the show, the five members were black silhouettes against the backdrop, with flashes of light mirroring Matt Frazier's rhythms. The lifted kit on steel deck coupled with the highlights from the lights truly allowed the crowd to understand his talent - many Local Natives songs (for example “Jellyfish” and “Airplanes”) rest on the innovation of Frazier's beats. At the end of the show, Rice and Kelcey Ayer pulled Frazier to the center stage and pointed at him, and urging the crowd to give him well deserved credit.

This show in particular was incredibly special because the location was so close to their hometown, Orange County. Local Natives played some of their first shows at The Glass House, right next door to Fox Theater. Due to the event’s hometown location, many of the band members' parents came to watch. Local Natives paused the show halfway through to thank their parents; six beaming parents jumped and waved excitedly from the first row of the balcony as the crowd turned around. For the rest of the show, I would occasionally turn around to peer at them on the balcony because the pride and joy exuding from their faces was heartwarming. A few songs later, Kelcey Ayer sang the heart wrenching “Colombia” off their 2013 album Hummingbird, a song written in reflection of his Colombian mother's death. In the small venue, the pain and passion was vivid across Ayer's face, bringing people in the crowd, including me, to tears.

Taylor Rice preluded “Fountain Of Youth” by urging the younger generation to take the future of the world into their hands, reminding them that they shape what comes next. "We can do whatever we want… And if we don't change, who will change?", Rice sang passionately to sea of youth looking up with wishful eyes. As the band members left the stage, the crowd up roared - begging for them to come back and play a few more songs, to which they happily obliged. Rice closed the show with “Sun Hands’’, leaping into the reaching hands of the energized crowd who were eager to hold him high as he screamed the lyrics. Local Natives’ stage presence wrapped the crowd up within their songs - my mood was shaped by their words and the waves of color that flooded the beautiful Fox Theater.



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