Local Natives at the Basement
The first time I listened to Local Natives' "Gorilla Manor," it sounded like yet another generic indie band grasping for Yeasayer eccentricity and Grizzly Bear elegance. Shades of Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire came to the fore at times. This band was a latter-day indie-rock compendium, and even as somebody who enjoys those bands, it was boring me to tears.
On stage at SXSW, it was a different story. Everything about Local Natives' performance was big and bold, all the way down to Taylor Rice's unsettling-yet-impressive mustache. What seemed hopelessly pedestrian on album came to life thanks to a performance with conviction.
Putting on a good show won them a measure of respect, though not adoration; their album still makes me wish I was listening to any number of better albums by the bands they're ripping off.
Wednesday's opening act, Suckers, offers a different supply of indie touchstones from Modest Mouse to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but it's significantly spicier thanks to traces of Tears For Fears and other '80s pop.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12
Where: The Basement, Arena District