Long live rock, I need it every night

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Local de Mayo

Local Natives @ RnRH - May 5, 2010 - $10

I found a nice surprise from Facebook on Wednesday. Instead of the normal PR notice from the Rock and Roll Hotel via their fan page, I received something worthy of a fan page. No, it wasn't a notice about the next Drunken Jenga night or Gugurachi (or whatever it is that they do upstairs on slow nights). This time I received a message inviting me to purchase a ticket to the sold out Local Natives show. Which I did. There were 5 tickets available, and I got one.

Emma Peel is a fan of Local Natives. She talked them up quite a bit, and that was enough for me to pay attention. It was too bad I couldn't get two tix. This show was originally scheduled for DC9 and moved to the RnRH, so I can't be too greedy.

I did make a mistake in my pre-concert planning. I decided to go for a run before making my way to H Street. I got cleaned up and everything, don't worry. But sometimes the RnRH can resemble a well attended fraternity party. Too many dudes in close quarters with not enough ventilation. I should have stopped in the local Giant before I got there and stood in the frozen food section for 20 minutes. Instead I arrived with an elevated core temp and it only got hotter.

I like shows at the RnRH. It's just big enough, and H street is what 14th street used to feel like, slightly sketchy and under populated. One thing I don't like about the RnRH is the stage lighting. It's really poor, and with such low ceilings, it's difficult to see the band at times. This was true on Wednesday night.

Local Natives put out a strong debut album (Gorilla Manor) that I am just getting to know. But some of their slower tunes can drag on a bit live. At least that's how it felt Wednesday. There's also a lot of ah ahhhhhhh aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh whoaaaaaaaaaaaa oooooooooo. I'm getting a little bored with this sound coming from a good number of bands today (Fleet Foxes, Frightened Rabbits, Animal Collective...), but Local Natives enticed a sizable crowd into singing along with them throughout the show. Often that's a sign I'm at the wrong show, but in this case, it was good to see and hear. We don't often get a lot of that in DC. Here's a clip from Weds:

The up tempo tunes were great and if the hot chick behind me hadn't eaten a 6 pack of garlic, I might have enjoyed my neighbors more as they crowded in to get involved. I noticed one Asian American (or maybe Asian Canadian) who was running-in-place/dancing to the music. I saw another Asian North American do the same thing at the Phoenix show. Is this a trend?

Bottom line, if Local Natives are playing Constitution Hall in a year and a half, I won't go. The Black Cat seems like a good venue for them next time around. The Black cat has better AC too.

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