Local Natives & The Love Language @ Fox Theatre
Walking through a haze of American Spirit smoke into the sold out Fox Theatre, I could already hear the energetic strains of The Union Line beckoning me to shove through the sold out crowd. Elbows and sharp shoulder blades couldn’t deter me from getting a good view of what would promise to be a great second opening set from the Love Language. And it was, despite the extraordinarily long lag between bands, an extremely worthwhile wait for the Love Language. The North Carolina troupe, fronted by Stuart McLamb, played their raw, lo-fi indie pop with surprising fullness that stretched back to the packed entryway. McLamb’s voice was honest and reaching, and his more stationary brand of frontmanship was balanced by the more bouncy band members, rounding out the sound and energy. I waited in between The Love Language and Local Natives, more people materializing seemingly out of the amplifiers, four beers in hand for their mysterious friends who were always in front of me, knowing that the energy was only going to skyrocket for an amazing show.
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/home/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/06-Heart-to-Tell.mp3|titles=Heart to Tell by The Love Language]
Local Natives have been known to put so much energy into their percussive, enveloping sets that the floor shakes with stomping feet and groovy dancing. And it’s true. It’s all true. Opening with “Camera Talk,” Local Natives brought the PBR soaked, slightly sleepy audience back to life; people were drawn magnetically to the stage as the front of the Fox was transformed into a sweaty, primitive, slightly uncoordinated mass of jumping and clapping and singing. Local Natives could barely fit on the stage full of instruments all being used at one time or another by multi instrumental band members, switching dexterously and seamlessly. The sound was crisp, not jumbled, though sometimes the dreamy harmonies got lost in the sea of sound. There was almost no banter or chatter, as the set list encompassed all of the debut Gorilla Manor, which the entire theatre knew. And afterwards, with sore calves, I realized there was something amazing about an hour set passing in what felt like five extremely bright, thumping minutes.
[audio:http://godonnybrook.com/home/wp-content/themes/mimbo2.2/images/Wide-Eyes-Suckers-Remix.mp3|titles=Wide Eyes (Suckers Remix) by Local Natives]
Local Natives closed with “Sun Hands,” during which they encouraged crazed audience participation by building up the tribal drumbeats into a racing, barely reigned in rendition that felt something akin to what dancing in the middle of a desert around a bonfire under the burning white hot stars would feel like. You know, I don’t know at all what that actually feels like…but after that show, I’m going to find out.