Coming off their highly acclaimed debut LP, Gorilla Manor, Los Angeles’ Local Natives jumped on stage to a sold out Bowery Ballroom last Thursday. After having played that album about 100 times now, I and the thousand or so other fans in the build were ready to scream our heads off. But despite being a die hard enthusiast of the up-and-coming band, I wondered whether they were ready to rock a packed house, especially in New York.
I always found it interesting to see what a band chose to play live, especially when they only have one album of songs to pick from. Local Natives made things easy and played all twelve tracks from Gorilla Manor, leaving nothing out. Luckily for them, that album has absolutely no filler. Leading off with “World News”, the five-piece band got things jump started. Playing through high energy songs like “Wide Eyes” and “Sun Hands”, as well as slow jams like “Cards and Quarters” and “Cubism Dream”, the band showed that they could handle it all. One of two highlights of the night had to fall on the Talking Heads cover of “Warning Sign”, which was taken to a whole new level from their recorded version. The other was their performance of a personal favorite, “Airplanes”, which had the audience in an emotional tizzy.
Without going any further, I must make note of the two opening acts of the night, the first being JBM. The folk-heavy artist put on a solid performance, running through a few songs off his most recent record, Not Even In July. Following JBM, another up-and-coming band, Suckers, took the stage. With wacky outfits and loads of stage command, these guys definitely caught me by surprise. I couldn’t name any of the songs for you, but I did recognize a few from their recent self-titled project.