It was a big night for LA Indie rockers Local Natives. Tuesday, September 24 marked the inaugural show of their two night stint at NYC's own Terminal 5. "This feels like our first really big show here in New York ..." admitted singer/guitarist Taylor Rice to the packed house. Considering that more than a year ago they played another musical double header at the much smaller Bowery Ballroom, it was indeed a big deal for this band to be headlining such a relatively large venue.
Dreampop chillwavers Wild Nothing opened up for Local Natives. They played a 45 minute set highlighting some of the band's standout dance grooves like "Nocturne" and even a few songs from their newest EP "Empty Estate." Although they're Virginia natives originally, Wild Nothing got a lot of hometown love from the NYC crowd after lead singer Jack Tatum revealed that they've been living in Brooklyn since the band's come into prominence. He proudly told the crowd, "It's good to be home for a few days."
Local Natives started their set with "Breakers," the lead single from this year's critically acclaimed "Hummbingbird." As soon as that metallic guitar riff resonated through the music hall the entire crowd was highly receptive and completely engaged. They blazed seamless through virtually all of the songs from "Hummingbird" and balanced that out with eight favorites from their debut album, "Gorilla Manor." As far as indie rock bands are concerned, Local Natives have some of the best harmonies and vocal work around. Fronted by both Kelcey Ayer and Taylor Rice, the juxtaposition of Ayer's raw and impressive range with Rice's velvety vibrato-laden timbre offers versatility and dynamics that most bands dream about.
A few highlights from the night were a heartfelt rendition of the power ballad "Mt. Washington" which led directly into the gigantic "Wooly Mammoth" and the ever-melodious "Airplanes." Rice dedicated "Bowery" to NYC with a little speech about how much the city has meant to the band . They recorded this song and the rest of "Humminbird" here in Brooklyn with producer/songwriter Aaron Dessner of The National. Local Natives also treated the crowd to a beautiful, acoustic version of "Who Knows Who Cares" which had the entire arena joining in to sing the outro.
The night ended with a raucus and brilliantly drawn-out version of the stomper "Sun Hands." A sea of hands overtook Terminal 5 while the band wailed, "And when I can feel with my sun hands, I promise not to lose her again." It was a moment of beauty and connection that is the epitome of what this band is all about.
This was only the second night of an extensive multinational tour for the Local Natives. Check out a full setlist below:
(Talking Heads cover)
You & I
Who Knows, Who Cares (acoustic)