The Naked and Famous - Fox Pomona - October 26, 2013

Photo by Brenda Wong
The Naked and Famous
The Fox Theatre, Pomona

New Zealand synth-indie-rock-alt-pop-something-or-other band The Naked and Famous gave North America a damn good farewell last Saturday, as the five-piece ended their North American tour in Pomona and is headed off to Europe.

The band weren't particularly known for their live performances in support of their debut album, Passive Me, Aggressive You. But after playing those songs for 200 shows over two years, the band set out to write something that would translate well live. And with sophomore album "In Rolling Waves," they succeeded.

Photo by Brenda Wong
I was worried that the majority of the crowd was going to be obnoxious high school students waiting for the most massively successful songs -- "Young Blood," "Punching in a Dream," "Girls Like You"--and clueless about the rest of the setlist (maybe it's an Orange County thing?), but I was so wrong.

Everyone was mesmerized. The initial cheering from the cutting lights died down as the darkness lingered. Any noise was quickly met with continued silence. When The Naked and Famous opened the set with the plucky strumming of "A Stillness," the lead song off of their new album, the room was happiness.

The new music continued into the second song with new lead single "Hearts Like Ours," a distinctly more mellow song than "A Stillness." It wasn't until the third song that The Naked and Famous performed something from their previous album, semi hit song "Girls Like You" (one of my personal favorites.)

Throughout their set, the band was draped in light from their impressive stage set up, six rib-like pillars, each with at least five different kinds of lights. The light show was the most technically impressive feat of the night, perfectly synced, beautifully done, atmospheric, and enchanting. The lights backed up the band's stylistic shifts between songs and albums, from heavy and foreboding to light and ethereal.

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