Soaring high

Something that Local Natives would probably have taken note of before they went on stage tonight was that not many bands could comfortably fill a venue the size of The Forum with just one album under their belt, yet such is the quality of the Los Angeles quintet’s debut album. Tonight sees the band taking on the entire of ‘Gorilla Manor’ and the album places itself just as well in the live setting as it does on record.

Starting with the upbeat ‘Camera Talk’, the band’s stunningly executed four way harmonies (as well as wurly piano) are instantly reverberated into the ears of the crowd. With what appears to be more moustache than body, front-man and brilliantly named Taylor Rice is an adorable performer; commanding the crowd with effortless control of his increasingly impressive vocal range.

Local Natives are one of the tightest units you are likely to witness perform. In many ways Kelcey Ayer is the backbone of the band; providing incredibly skilled vocal backup as well as textural percussion and keys (often all at the same time). The band come together to devastating effect on tracks such as ‘Who Knows Who Cares’ and ‘Wide Eyes’ and this feeds into the crowd, with mass sing-alongs breaking out in all corners of the venue.

‘Sun Hands’ is fittingly placed as the set closer. Brooding folk guitars soon lead to a gang chant that gives way to a wall of delay-caked noise, climaxing in the band’s heaviest jam-like section yet. With more material on the way there is no saying where this band are heading, but tonight surely signified the beginning of something very special indeed.

Words by Nick Calafato

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