Since the band is no stranger to Austin, I’ve had the opportunity to see Los Angeles’ Local Natives in a variety of settings. I caught their set at SXSW when they played the Filter Magazine party, braved the heat to hear them at last year’s ACL Festival, and witnessed their gorgeous taping for Austin City Limits’ 39th season.
Somehow, I’d never actually attended one of their full blown, headlining shows so I thought it was time to rectify that. Local Natives took the stage about 9:00PM on Wednesday, April 9th at Stubb’s in Austin, TX. The set started off with “Breakers,” one of my favorites off their latest album Hummingbird. After a bit of a false start (the vocals weren’t turned on), Taylor Rice quickly recovered and soon the energy from the band and sold-out crowd was palpable.
Though Local Natives’ shows don’t often vary too much in terms of the set list or staging, they put on the kind of show that never feels tired. Their exquisite use of harmony and intricate instrumentation is so compelling live. I loved watching the crowd because it was clear that each person had a different favorite song, creating pockets of unbridle enthusiasm every so often throughout the set. The only negative about the crowd was a pair of loud, chatty gentlemen directly behind me. I’m not sure they realized they were surrounded by people at an live music event. Luckily, someone with better confrontational skills than I solved that problem and I was able to get lost in the music once again.
One of my favorite moments of the show was Local Natives’ cover of “Warning Sign” from Talking Heads. They started the song with nothing but the power of their vocals and it really showcased how perfectly they blend. Another highlight was the live debut of “Out Among The Stars” from the recently released posthumous studio album from Johnny Cash. A few weeks ago, La Blogothèque released an amazing tribute video, featuring Brandon Flowers (of The Killers), Father John Misty, and Local Natives covering songs from the release. I absolutely loved it and I was hoping the song would make its way into the set list. I’m so happy they chose to play it for the first time in Austin.
The night ended, as their shows usually do, with the much loved “Sun Hands” from their debut album, Gorilla Manor. I wasn’t sure anything would ever top Local Natives’ performance of the song for their ACL taping. The beautiful, intimate room and the swinging exposed light bulbs (sneak a peek at that here) made for a memorable night. But when all the lights when on at Stubb’s and the tightly packed crowd screamed “And when I can feel with my sun hands” in unison…I got chills. And thus ended another night that fueled my passion for great music.
The band is wrapping up their tour and then heading into the studio to record their next album. So, hopefully it won’t be too long before we hear new music from Local Natives. And hopefully they’ll debut a few of those songs in Austin.
– Submitted by Jessica Reed, Social Media