Monday 15th November 2010 may have been a night of many gigs clashes in Dublin – but for the capacity crowd who have come to The Village to see THE American buzz-band of the past year, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt they’ve picked the wrong band. This is Local Natives’ fourth gig on Irish soil, and this time around the band have been liberated from the confines of The Academy 2, which hosted their last two Dublin headline shows.
Kicking off the evening’s proceedings are We Are Losers, a band who count this significant support slot as only their third ever live performance – although you’d never know that based on the show they put on tonight. A brief but impressive set, full of instantly catchy tunes which we can look forward to hearing more of in the coming months as We Are Losers continue to build their profile on the live music front.
Local Natives launch straight into ‘Camera Talk’, an excellent choice of set-opener which sets the bar high for what’s to follow. ‘World News’ is an early indication of just how brilliantly this band translate the songs from debut album Gorilla Manor into a live setting – impeccable multi-part harmonies, soaring over the tightly-knit musicianship which permeates everything the Californian five-piece do on stage. The militant drum-beats of ‘Wide Eyes’ echo around the venue like gunshots; whilst ‘Shape Shifter’ serves as a one-song showcase of the eclectic nature of Local Natives’ music which has been winning audiences over worldwide. Ballad one moment, festival anthem the next – it’s a song which never ceases to impress. ‘Airplanes’ – the song which has become synonymous with the name ‘Local Natives’ – garners word-for-word audience participation, the sentiment behind its lyrics all the more powerful when sung in unison by a capacity crowd. The Local Natives’ ‘pièce de résistance’ is saved for last – an extended rendition of ‘Sun Hands’, which closes out the set on an emphatic note.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get involved with the music in any physical sense throughout, with space for even the odd clap-along restricted. The Village as a live music venue can be claustrophobic at the best of times, but tonight’s packed-to-the-rafters affair is certainly not for the faint of heart. Thankfully, the over-crowding doesn’t hinder the gig; if anything, it’s a reminder of how lucky one is to be witnessing such a coveted sold-out performance – well worth sacrificing oneself to a tinned sardine-like existence for its duration.
Photos: Damien McGlynn.