Local Natives Live @ Bowery Ballroom 5/8

By Will Oliver, May 8th 2010 — with 7 comments Concert Reviews MP3

I first posted about Local Natives back in Dec 2008, right before the band really started to take off. I tried multiple times to catch them in New York City since them, but ultimately failed each time. I actually showed up to their show at Pianos in Dec ’08 only to get rejected because I wasn’t 21. Every other time they played in NYC since I was up at Binghamton unable to get down in time. Kelcey and Matt from the band kept trying to finally get me out to a show but someone from above wouldn’t let it happen. Flash forward to May 7th, 2010, and I finally saw Local Natives live.

I got there a little late and missed the first opening band JBM. I did get there just in time to see Suckers, a band out of Brooklyn. Lead singer Quinn Walker came out with a blanket cape, glossy head band and face paint. Me and my friend Alex couldn’t help think of MGMT’s Andrew Vanwyngarden. The tunes were a mix of Talking Heads melodies, MGMT freak folkiness, and a mix of harmonies that weren’t too shy of Local Natives. I was really impressed by their set, and will certainly dig up the rest of their stuff.

In between sets a few fans next to me spotted David Byrne sitting up on the balcony. They screamed his name and he smiled and waved. As I snapped a quick photo of him, a guy next to me asked what I was taking photos for. I told him it was for my music blog, and after I told him the name, he told me he read my blog everyday. I thought he was pulling my leg, and just pretending to know it. But him and his friend assured me they knew it and said they were big followers. They said they remembered my first Local Natives post. It was beyond crazy to meet someone who reads my blog. So  if you guys are reading this post, thanks so much for reading my blog and it was a pleasure meeting you both!

Local Natives came out ready to play for all of their eager fans who sold out the Bowery Ballroom for a second night. They opened with a riveting performance of “Camera Talk” that totally confirmed Local Natives reputation as a stunning live act. Throughout the set Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, and Taylor Rice switched spots each taking turns playing guitar or banging a second drum accompanying Matt Frazier’s drumming and Andy Hamm’s smooth basslines. The band dedicated their cover of The Talking Heads “Warning Sign” to David Byrne, and followed up with a very memorable performance that was one for the ages.

Each song was played with extra oomph live, really solidifying Local Natives as a top notch live band in my book. The set featured plenty of crowd singalongs since the bands relies pretty heavily on beautiful harmonies that practically beg for it. “Airplanes” got a truly massive singalong that had plenty of sentimental value to me. I remember when I first fell in love with the song 2 years ago, and it was amazing to hear the massive crowd singalong at Bowery Ballroom last night. After the song the band was smiling from ear to ear, truly amazed at the crowds reaction.

The band ended their encore with an electrifying performance of “Sun Hands”. I know I was waiting impatiently to hear it, and from the energetic eruption from the crowd, I was not alone. The band took the song to the next level, giving a godly performance of the song that was by far one of the greatest songs I have seen live in 2010.

Update: NYCTaper has uploaded a recording of the entire show! Download it here.

More photos from the show are posted after the jump:


“Artsy” shot of David Byrne chilling on the balcony:

Local Natives:

  • http://www.nyctaper.com nyctaper

    My authorized live recording of this show is now posted at:

  • chissy n

    ahhh this makes me so excited for their upcoming tour in Columbus!
    it’s going to be such a great show, I can’t wait until wednesday :]

  • Harry

    Local Natives are amazing! I envy you! Your Blog is also amazing! keep up the live reviews and whatnot!

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