Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Los Angeles, CA (August 29, 2013)
This year, especially this spring and summer, has seen plenty of Red Bull Sound Select hosted events in the LA area with the goal of highlighting wonderful local artists such as Incan Abraham, Hands, and HOTT MT. The most recent was last Thursday with James Supercave, White Rainbow, NO, and YACHT gracing the bill for only $3. For such a large lineup at a more than reasonable price, I was expecting very short sets in a room full of patrons desiring little more than to get intoxicated, but was very pleasantly surprised. It was an extremely lively, polite and excited crowd which set the perfect mood for such electrifying artists, with near an hour as the shortest set length.
James Supercave, a quintet based in Echo Park, opened the night beginning with mystic, dance tune “Georgian Orange,” giving the small, but growing crowd just a taste of what was to come. As usual, the guys had the audience enthralled in their somewhat bluesy bass lines and swirling synthetic sounds, leaving them in awe of Pastor’s flawless falsetto. James Supercave has definitely created a sound quite unique to the heavy synthetic and psychedelic sound befalling the indie LA scene at the moment. They also seem to be quite confident and have a strong grasp of their artistic direction as the new songs they have been playing show no deviation, only stylistic growth, from those previously released. Even though James Supercave already left a highly impressed crowd, they later received much love from the other artists, especially “neighbors” NO.
White Rainbow is the work of one artist, Adam Forkner. Adam made himself, and the audience, quite comfortable as he settled in front of a synth covered table, initiating many of the songs from his Mac. Despite White Rainbow’s sound being highly synthetic, it was extremely calming and ambient (think Washed Out sans vocals). His set was thoroughly enjoyable and with the highly synthetic sounds that were entrancing, his act on the bill was completely understandable with the intensely synthetic, pop-rock group, Yacht closing the show. However, due to the soothing nature of the music juxtaposed with the growing restlessness of the audience, which Forkner playfully addressed saying “this is how we do it in Portland,” I would have liked to see White Rainbow open the show. Swapping set times also would have allowed James Supercave to intensify the already growing hype filling the room.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing NO numerous times this summer, but this set seemed refreshing. The setlist was basically the same, but the Echo Park sextet seemed more energized and passionate, which seems impossible considering they always put on an amazing show. They opened their set with an extended intro for “Another Life;” and the rest of the set consisted of favorites “There’s A Glow” and “Stay With Me,” leaving lovers entangled. NO also performed three songs to be released on their upcoming LP including the danceable “Monday.” In addition to their somewhat nostalgic harmonies and effortless guitar riffs, frontman, Bradley Carter’s ceaseless interaction with the audience (such as making toasts in his charming baritone voice) can make any listener feel like they’re long time friends with the sextet and rest of the audience, simply catching up. I’m extremely grateful to have caught this show since the group will be touring with the Naked and Famous, and thus not to headline a local show until 2014. Their energetic, heartfelt performance left me in disbelief that there was still more after such amazing artists already.
Never hearing YACHT only of them, it was no wonder why I had heard so much of the internationally known quartet. The band’s founders have such entertaining, spunky personalities and Claire Evans’s dance moves inspired the entire crowd of The Troubadour to dance along. Their sound is distinctly indie pop-rock, relying heavily on the synth and catchy, sometimes chanting, lyrics. Despite going on at about midnight, the band’s high energy was intoxicating; as stated, everyone was moving which still intensified when Claire stepped into the crowd leaning on whomever was behind her followed by Jona literally jumping into the audience on the following song. There isn’t much to say because their talent is well known, but anyone with the opportunity to see YACHT live should; it’s an immediate serotonin booster!
Keep a look out for Sound Select shows, because this was a blast!