LOCAL NATIVES w/ MIDDLE KIDS
@ THE COMMODORE BALLROOM, VANCOUVER
MAY 15, 2019
Local Natives kicked off their new Spiral Choir world tour at the Commodore Ballroom tonight. This new tour follows the recent release of Violet Street, their fourth album.
Opening for Local Natives was Middle Kids, a four-piece indie rock band from Sydney, Australia. Rocking a green jumpsuit and quirky dance moves, lead singer Hannah Joy channeled Courtney Barnett and Sharon Van Etten as she strummed moody power chords on her inexplicably upside-down guitar. Booming drums, throbbing bass, and steel guitar riffs provided the background for Joy to alternate between falsetto and howling vocals. Though their overall sound was a little muddled, Middle Kids brought a lot of energy, hyping the Vancouver audience for the main act.
While Middle Kids seemed like a young band, Local Natives took the stage with the cool professionalism and confidence of seasoned musicians. Opening up with new singles “Café Amarillo” and “When Am I Gonna Lose You”, it quickly became clear how talented they are. Hopping between instruments and swapping lead vocal parts, nearly every member of the band proved themselves capable of playing multiple instruments, all while singing in three or four part harmonies. Their vocals were impressively tight with each note sounding clear and on point. A highlight was Kelcey Ayer’s remarkable vocal range, as he confidently belted high notes on songs like “Coins”, “You & I”, and “Airplanes”.
They played a very diverse set, featuring songs that spanned their entire career and all four albums. Among these were new songs like “Someday Now” and “Shy”, which have never been played live before, as well as fan favourites like “Wide Eyes” and “Ceilings”.
However, the dedication of their fan base was evident when they played older hits from 2009’s Gorilla Manor. The crowd belted out the vocals on “Who Knows, Who Cares”, erupted into cheers from the opening piano of “Airplanes”, and went absolutely nuts when guitarist and vocalist Taylor Rice jumped into the crowd during “Sun Hands”. While “Sun Hands” is frequently played as a set closer, the band showed that they are swapping things up on this tour, boldly placing this high energy crowd favourite halfway through their set.
Considering this was the first night of their Spinal Choir tour, Local Natives were bursting with confidence and sounded incredibly tight. Complete with cool stage design, a stunning light show, and seamless transitions, Local Natives provided a phenomenal performance that bodes well for the upcoming tour.
(Photography by Kieran Davey)
[sk_grid id=”45868″ initial_load=”20″ gallery_gap=”5″ max_load_more=”20″ hover_color=”a50909″ load_more_label=”Load more”]