Live Review :: Local Natives

May 22nd 2013

…the crowd flew into hoedown mode for ‘Sun Hands’. The harmonies swimming between each member encompassed the room, tying feverish guitar and percussion together…

Entering the warm embrace of the Metro Theatre for the Local Natives gig brought relief from the chill outside. A room packed with beards and cropped denim jackets greeted us, promising an evening of sonic adventures that even an awkward ticket office moment couldn’t kill.


The night came into full swing with the lowering of lights and a lively David Bowie track filling the room. From the darkness the band strode onto the stage, with multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer diving straight into title track ‘You & I’ off Hummingbird. The music washing over the crowd, taking us to places we don’t know.

Photo: Nik Thorup

Admittedly, I spent the first few songs squinting at Ayer’s shirt trying to suss out what those blue shapes could possibly be (Penguins? Sharks and fish?!? Stingrays?). After a drum stick launched into the audience three songs in, I was too gone with the music to guess the aquatic shirt.

Local Natives’ live sound is so polished that I could’ve been sitting at home listening to them in my ‘jammies. I just wished they’d talk to us more! Craving the attention of the band, I waited for a humourous anecdote or embarrassing tour experience… So Kelcey if you’re reading this, next time a little TLC would go down a treat (obscene winking face) we’re dying to get to know the guy behind the beardfacé and marine-themed shirt.

Photo: Nik Thorup

For an album of moody and dense songs, Local Natives brought a surprising new element of passion and energy to the stage. Any expectation that their set would be heavy was ruled out, making my night far more enjoyable as the crowd flew into hoedown mode for ‘Sun Hands’. The harmonies swimming between each bandmember encompassed the room, tying feverish guitar and percussion together.

A special treat was the Talking Heads cover,‘Warning Sign’, as they switched from familiar rich vocals to raw screaming. It was also refreshing to see 99% of the audience were experiencing the gig through their raybans, not a 3.5 inch iPhone screen.

Surprising, passionate, raw, aquatic… Local Natives killed it live. Just tell me, it’s a whale right?!?

Photo: Nik Thorup

Ed’s note: Earlier that day, Local Natives came in for a chat on Girls Gone Mild… wearing a certain aquatic shirt. Whaddyareckon?


Full Photo GalleryLocal Natives | Pip Rasmussen



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