There is a special feeling attending an Austin City Limits TV (ACL TV) taping (like getting to peek behind the curtain). During Austin City Limits Music Festival, when artists appear on the show a heightened sense of excitement permeates the theater as it did last night when Local Natives made their ACL TV debut. The Los Angeles indie rock quintet only has two albums out, 2009's "Gorilla Manor" and "Hummingbird" released this year. The material attracted a fiercely loyal fan base, many of whom found a way to be in the Moody Theater crowd yesterday for an electrifying performance that accented the percussive groove that sets apart Local Natives.
After opening with song, "Breakers" and playing crowd favorite, "Wide Eyes" the band took a moment to banter with the audience. An elated and effusive Taylor Rice exclaimed he was amazed to be at ACL TV and talked about why Austin is significant to the group.
"Austin is a special place for us... We played what? Nine shows at SXSW in 2009. We came back the next year and played nine shows... those were two of the biggest weeks ever for our band." -Taylor Rice
Rice also announced their touring bassist, Nic Ewing was invited to join the band full time earlier in the day. He dedicated "You and I" to their new full-time bassist.
The heavily percussive, afropop sound emanating from Matt Frazier (drums) and Kelcey Ayer (keyboards, percussion) was hypnotic. A cover of the Talking Heads' "Warning Sign" was appropriate as Local Natives often cite the David Byrne led act as an influence. Indeed, there are similarities between the two groups. Frazier's hyper-kinetic drum blasts evoked memories of Chris Frantz (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club).
Rice introduced the final song of the set, "Who Knows, Who Cares", letting the crowd know the band rehearsed an acoustic version for the taping that highlighted the band's ability to sing beautiful vocal harmonies. It was a fitting way to end the set. The band reappeared for a three song encore capped by a soaring "Sun Hands."
You can join the ACL TV mailing list to keep up with show schedules and ticket giveaways. They will post a specific date the Local Natives episode will air this spring on the website.
Local Natives ACL TV setlist:
(Talking Heads cover)
You and I
Who Knows, Who Cares
Special thanks to April Burcham and Leslie Nichols.
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