Though based here and a frequent performer around town, Tuesday night at the Troubadour marked the proper headline debut for Lo-Fang. The sold out room—-admittedly, the numbers probably skewed a bit with industry types curious to check out the buzz—-though there are burgeoning pockets of wooing early adopter fangirls—-hosted a compact 45-minute 10-song set. Musically tight and set list on point (much of the new LP, Blue Film, plus his two cheeky reconstructions of Ginuwine and Grease soundtrack tunes), clearly the recent stint opening for Lorde has honed their chops.
Performing as a three-piece, Matthew Hemerlein is bolstered by a duo behind him on drums/laptop and keys/percussion, with just the right mix of Ableton backing tracks. The live show imbues the studio versions of Blue Film with warmth and occasional surprising muscle. Live drums in particular give the tunes some vital oomph.
Seeing their familiar, quirky name in print, Fanfarlo would seem to be a band I surely must have seen at least once at some point in my showgoing career. If not their own gig, then either opening for someone, or maybe a mid afternoon set at some festival, somewhere. (Christ knows I’ve seen my share for forgotten acts. Architecture in Helsinki, anyone?) I tried to conjure their ostensible “hits” and album art but came up blank. Yet a few songs into their fun, alternately mellow and uptempo set at the Troubadour last week, they felt familiar. I had in fact heard several of these songs (they have been mined by music supervisors frequently) but just could not match the sounds to a particular image or the band name. Admittedly, they do get some of blame for some of this: their artwork and lyrics can at times lack a discernible aesthetic and sense of voice for simple people like me to latch onto.
UCLA’s Royce Hall, legendary host to a wide range of performances across the performing arts spectrum, served as an apt venue for the pairing of Anna Calvi and Chelsea Wolfe, two lady songstresses with outsized stage presences, with songs that expand upon traditional structures and genres, taking pop well into avant-garde territory.
Billing themselves as The Reflektors, their alternate identity throughout this massive promotional blitz for their new and fourth overall album, Arcade Fire wrapped their week of activity in Los Angeles with a festive Halloween night performance for a packed Hollywood Palladium.
With a local mariachi trio greeting the costumed attendees at the door, dim blacklights throughout and confetti debris already strewn about the dance floor (presumably from a testing of the canons that will later douse the audience during “Here comes the night”) the mood in the air was more nightclub than rock show.
The band, performing here as a ten-piece, newly augmented by a pair of Haitian percussionists, Diol and Tiwill, as well as the return of Owen Pallet and Sarah Neufeld on keys and violins, alongside the familiar core six of Richard, Tim, Will, Win, Jeremy and Regine, played a fourteen-song set, their longest yet of these initial small club shows.
As part of MTV Iggy and Intel’s Music Experiment, which has already produced secret performances by Empire of the Sun in New York, Disclosure in Boston, and culminates with Taeyang in San Francisco on November 25, a lot at the corner of Hollywood and Vine was gated off, creating something of a mini carnival for around 2,000 attendees.