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The Naked and Famous at Valley View Casino Center

New Zealand rockers, The Naked and Famous are currently on the Into the Night tour with Imagine Dragons. Their tour, as well as other shows, will take them around the US until mid June, and is definitely not a band you should miss.

The Naked and Famous live in San Diego-slide0
Photo: Lauren Wilson

As the lights dimmed, and the crowd cheered, many in the audience loudly exclaimed their adoration for The Naked and Famous, including a couple marriage proposals toward Alisa. Their first song, “A Stillness,” a single off their newest record In Rolling Waves, set an atmospheric tone, with only spotlights shining on the band. Playing a short 9 song set, The Naked and Famous made the best of their time. Powers, who has mastered the art of the hair flip, works as a powerhouse guitarist, and whose vocals fit well with Alisa’s.

While the role of singer was split between Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers, Alisa took most of the lead and would split from her spot behind the keys and really shine as a front woman. Her presence at the front of the catwalk was commanding, and she worked her way around to connect with as many people along the barricade. While she admitted that the band wasn’t used to playing shows of that capacity, she seemed right at home taking the helm.

With the band’s final song “Young Blood” came a roar of applaud and cheers from the audience, as they came to recognize the artists before them. Alisa really shined as front woman as she was able to shed her instrument all together and work her magic at the front. Throughout the entire arena, people were sheering and singing along, many of which were standing at their seats.

I managed to get to the back of arena, at the nosebleed seats, just at the end of their set. Alisa’s voice had carried all the way to the back with the same strength as it did on the floor. People were chatting after their set, exclaiming how impressed they were with her vocals as well as the rest of their performance.

The Naked and Famous lead a trend of New Zealand bands making their mark on our soil. With their songs of youth and early success, it’ll be interesting to see the direction their music takes as it matures with them.