The Naked and Famous, The Observatory, March 20, 2012
The Naked and Famous
March 20, 2012
You know you're in for a treat when the headlining band blows an amp before they even hit the stage. There was a minor technical difficulty once the house lights dimmed and we were stuck in the darkness for a little bit, but the crowd didn't care one bit. They began chanting for the band to appear. Less than 10 minutes go by before the LED screen on stage begins to pulsate with flickers of light. If you had epilepsy, this show could be the one that killed you. There was a lot of sensory overload going on- but I didn't see anyone die (luckily).
The Naked and Famous were energetic as hell and fun to watch. The crowd, however, was ultra dull (as ever). From the get go, the young crowd shouted out "Youngblood," the band's claim to fame. The show was sponsored by KROQ, the radio station that plays this particular The Naked and Famous' hit on heavy rotation, so it really was no surprise that the kids were out in full force. I felt the packed venue didn't do the band justice; the energy level was a three at best. Looking out over the patrons, there were some who knew what band was playing. For the most part, though, it seemed that most of the people there were only vaguely familiar with what was going on.
Despite the crowd's low energy, the band charged through their set with full force. I expected a lot more dancing at a Naked and Famous show, but was sorely disappointed. Even if you didn't know the songs, they had a good beat that you could definitely get down with. Maybe it was a school night, or kids were still recovering from spring break... whatever it was, I wish they were putting as much effort into enjoying themselves as they were on their iPhones updating their Facebook statuses. The band acted as if they didn't notice, and the show went on.
My favorite part of the set was when the band came back for their encore. When they busted out "Da Da Da," the bass vibrated onto the floor. The band got nostalgic as they played one of the first songs they ever recorded together called "Serenade." Then the inevitable happened. It was if everyone decided to down a Red Bull at the same time--the crowd went nuts as they ended their set with "Youngblood." People were jumping, cameras were flashing and the audience was singing as if they were auditioning for American Idol. The high energy did end the set on a high note, but if they would have played the song at the beginning or in the middle, I am sure that half of the people would have abandoned their posts and headed home.
It seemed as if the set went by fast--it was fun and the band was fully committed to their performance. I can't wait to see them again, but hopefully in a different environment, when "Youngblood" is a song of the past.
Sometimes opening bands work and sometimes they don't. Last night, they definitely didn't. Openers Now, Now were okay, but put me to sleep. It was only the first band and I was already counting down to when the show was going to be over. They were however, much better than the second band, Vacation, who were like a weird hybrid between 311 and something you would find on Nickelodeon. The dude was charismatic, but didn't impress me one bit. I wanted him off the stage. The house DJ of the night was much better than both bands put together, playing mash-ups of some indie favorites while sneaking in a few dancey breaks in between. If he would have played for two hours before the headliners went on instead, I'd have been quite content.
Critic's Bias: Boys with accents always get me moist in the knickers. These boys were no exception.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I wish they would play that one song from the radio. It's my favorite song ever."
Random notebook dump: A youngun' attempted to crowd surf during one of the slowest songs in the set and landed flat on her ass. I applauded.
All of This
Da Da Da