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.
Franz Ferdinand are back. Not that they ever completely went away (they’re a constant presence on the festival circuit) but with Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action due August 27, their first new album since ‘09, there does seem to be a renewed sense of purpose and energy about the band and some fresh excitement in the fanbase.
Savages–Jehnny Beth (vocals), Gemma Thompson (guitar), Ayse Hassan (bass), Fay Milton (drums)–are not fucking around.
Musically tight, aesthetically fully formed, with a rare air of integrity, all the more impressive for being a relatively new band, they tore through their set at the first of a pair of sold out nights at the El Rey. Loud and bracing, they’re simultaneously affirming and challenging, intellectual and primal; easily one of the most convincing live acts to roll through town in a long while. DeRogatis is perhaps only slightly exaggerating in calling them “life-changing”.
First off, let’s not call it a “surprise” show–surprise shows aren’t announced on broadcast radio a week in advance, followed by several all but conclusive tweets, leading to seven days of online buzz. Maybe call it a short notice or intimate or exclusive show. Or, just call it a “rehearsal” as Thom joked.
Turning Fais Do Do into “Club Amok” for the night, complete with postering inside and out with the familiar monochromatic print art by Stanley Donwood and a marquee modestly branding it “A Benefit for All Mankind,” Atoms for Peace, performed for free (more or less) for a small crowd last Friday, a warm-up in advance of their forthcoming tour that begins in July in Europe and winds it way back here for a Hollywood Bowl show on October 16.
At this point, coming up on twenty years into her solo career, more or less having achieved living legend status, nearly peerless as an international multimedia pop artist, fans (tonight, a motley mix—pockets of club kids, stiff artist types, lesbian couples, KROQ lookieloos) understand they’re in for a unique experience with a Bjork show. This one though, the first Biophilia performance in LA, finally, almost two years after that album’s arrival, promises even more than usual right from the get go.
Photos by Debi Del Grande
Glasgow’s trio Chvrches are pulling off something, quickly carving out a unique voice using familiar sounds in a crowded female-fronted synth pop genre, selling out shows despite only a handful of officially released tracks. The latest of which, “Gun”, was Zane Lowe’s “Hottest Record in the World” last week, if you’re the sort of person that is in to that sort of thing.
Photo © oliver walker from FYF Fest Facebook