Live Review: Local Natives

06/11/16 – QMU 

Local Natives make a quiet entrance before jumping straight into the subdued opener of “Past Lives”, but the track comes to life on stage as their harmonies begin to echo throughout the QMU.

Sticking with a mellower tone, the track “Wide Eyes” follows with hazy guitar riffs and a dreamlike vibe to ease you into their set. “Breakers” surprisingly makes its way into the first third of their performance, it has all the great qualities of a euphoric encore track; but it sounds ethereal live. Local Natives are at their strongest when they’re encouraging the more mature, reserved audience to dance along to their whispered ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ over jangly guitar riffs and their playful percussion.  

There are moments where their newer sound, featured on their latest album Sunlit Youth, is experimented with on stage. These tracks tackle pop much more explicitly than their previous tracks, but the more electronic take on supporting instrumentals only means they remain as irresistibly catchy.  

In the blink of an eye, the frontman has ended up over the barrier with a sound engineer holding the wire to his mic, as he makes his way deeper into the crowd for a pretty intense karaoke session. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening, or if he’s planning to continue the latter half of the gig from within the crowd, but it was entertaining regardless.

In the lead up to “Fountain of Youth”, the band naïvely call on us to change the world. I call them naïve, but the unashamed zeal is a reassuring climax from the band. They close the encore with the hipster hit “Sun Hands”, giving an enthralling performance sure to remind anyone of the inexperienced ecstasy that the gigs from your early teens brought you.

[Stacey Anderson @StaceyAnders0n]

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