Live in Los Angles:
THE NAKED AND FAMOUS
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Words by Dan Sinclair
Photographs by Nicolas Bates
NOVEMBER 29, 2016-- It had been far two long since the original BeerMoviesMusic team of Dan and Nick covered a show for you, dear reader. So long in fact, they ventured all the way to the far east...ern part of Los Angeles County-- namely the Fox Theater in Pomona-- to catch a glimpse of The Naked and Famous... while remaining themselves very much clothed and mostly unknown.
And while the electronic rockers hail from Auckland, New Zealand, they've been living in Los Angeles, California since 2013, so this event was a homecoming of sorts in the midst of a world tour, supporting their third album, Simple Forms (released on October 14, 2016).
For those who admire the art deco aesthetic of The Wiltern, this writer must recommend the Fox Theater for your concert-going bucket list... you know, if you have one of those. And while said writer stood in the crowd admiring said theater's architecture, that's when the lights went down only five minutes past the listed 9:55 p.m. set time.
Alisa Xayalith took the lead vocals with Thom Powers backing her up on "The Water Beneath You" to get things started. Aaron Short and bassist David Beadle each played keyboards with Jesse Wood drumming away between the two of them as the loud chorus kicked in: "But I will find a way to be the water beneath you..." And while the crowd definitely seemed to enjoying themselves, they get much, much louder when Simple Forms' first single, Higher, came up next.
It's Xayalith who first speaks to us with a standard-ish greeting: "How's it going, Los Angeles? Thanks for coming out." Then she takes place behind her keyboard for the first time to play "All of This"; their first selection from 2010's Passive Me, Aggressive You. At one point, the lights surrounding the band start to bounce up and down, forcing the fans singing along to the chorus to follow suit. It's a mad house on the floor-- madness!
The loudest cheers of the night come at the very first beat of "Punching in a Dream," and it's Powers who jumps with a punch to the explosive opening kick in. The song closes with a heavy-ass finish, led by Woods beating the shit out of his drum set like it just said something awful about his mama.
Next up was the mellow, bass-heavy beat to the (semi) title track of 2013's In Rolling Waves, before The Naked and Famous return to the new stuff with "My Energy," "The Runners" and "Losing Our Control." On the latter of the three, various strobe lights flicker, making it appear as if the band is nothing more than a set of photographs flashing before us on stage. Wait a minute-- The Naked and Famous was flashing before us? Yes, in a way, they were.
Someone screams out like she just witnessed a murder (or a Justin Bieber) at the beginning of "A Stillness" as Xayalith walks the length of the stage for the first time, giving the crowd a strange sort of energy, unable to be "still" during the chorus, and they keep the vibe going on right through "Hearts Like Ours."
After the very sad, but soothing return to their fist album with "No Way," Xayalith tells a story of how she was forced to fight through a bout of allergies to record the song "Laid Low," which became her favorite on Simple Forms. She then sings it, showing the crowd exactly why.
And while these dedicated fans surely enjoyed the every Pomona second of the entire performance, they obviously saved their best for last, giving all they had left for the songs that made The Naked and Famous... well, famous-- "Girls Like You" and the mega-mega-super pop classic "Young Blood." The team was on point all night at the Fox Theater, as I have to admit it was one of the cleanest, loudest shows I've seen in quite some time.
So, do you think the Fox Theater had a good time that last Tuesday in November? Go ahead. Sing the answer. You know I was gonna do it... YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, YEAh! And by the way, you can, too, because, you know, they're still on tour... Go! Go now! Do it!
For more on The Naked and Famous, go here.
For more of Nicolas Bates' Photography, check out BatesImaging.com