Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Local Natives @ Tractor Tavern (6/20/2016)

When the Local Natives tour was initially announced, I was notified of the Seattle show on September 20. Unfortunately, this was the same day as two other shows that I was interested in (Sigur Rós and The Temper Trap), one of which I had bought tickets for already (Sigur Rós). In truth, Sigur Rós would be my first choice out of the three, but Local Natives wouldn't be too far behind (The Temper Trap would only be in the running if it was a weekend and I had nothing else going on), especially since they were the only ones I hadn't yet seen. Fast forward to Friday (3 days ago) when a Do314 e-mail randomly made me curious to investigate whether traveling back to St. Louis (for free) for a Wednesday night (October 5) just to see them would be worth it. When I went to their website just to see what their full tour schedule was, I noticed that the very first date listed was in Seattle...3 days away! In a delirious haste, I clicked through to buy a ticket as quickly as possible, incredulous that the show (at a bar that I hadn't heard of) hadn't sold out yet. Needless to say, the concert was sold out by showtime, and I'm glad that I stumbled across the show listing when I did. I am a little angry that Songkick did not alert me about (and still does not list) the show, though.

The show itself wasn't anything fancy - they were playing a decent sized bar, but there couldn't have been more than a few hundred people there. The stage was pretty small, and there wasn't much of a light show. But that was all fine - I was there for the music. In my typical style, I arrived about an hour after showtime, completely skipping the DJ opener. Unfortunately, though, that meant that the only spot I would be feel comfortable getting to (since I don't like pushing through people) was in the back. This was OK, but I do wish that I could have seen more of their actual playing of instruments from my vantage point.

This was one of the first, if not the first, official shows on their tour. In fact, a comment on stage made it seem that it was hastily arranged and prepended to the schedule. In any case, they used it to "road test" most of the songs on the new album. In general, I liked the new material, and am excited for the album to drop in September. I think 3 of the new songs had Kelcey on lead vocals, which was a bit of a change-up - I can only think of 2 songs from the first 2 albums where he's the main voice. While I do generally prefer the texture of Taylor's singing voice, I didn't mind too much Kelcey taking the lead. Half the set was a mixture of old material, which the crowd also heartily appreciated.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable show. While I think that I might have preferred seeing them at the Moore Theatre later in the year (in addition to being a "fuller" performance, I would have had a bit of time to digest the new songs beforehand), it was nice to at least see them in concert, and in such an intimate venue. Next time I'll try to get a better view.

Rating: 4.4/5

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