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Friday, June 2, 2023

Life + Arts

Band bares all in fab lights at Houston show


Though there was a lack of enthusiasm with the venue being House of Blues, there was still a bit of excitement as the backlit sign near the entrance read The Naked and Famous. 

The New Zealand quintet made its way through Houston on March 24. It was a Saturday, which meant that the crowd consisted of fans as well as people experimenting and listening to the band for the first time. This caused the crowd to be a mix and not all have the same energy for the show. This was unfortunate since this band, whose critically acclaimed album, “Passive Me, Aggressive You,” has received praise, is full of great energy.

Tracks like, “Punching in a Dream,” have moved this band forward in the indie rock world and made the band flourish across the world. The album is a blend of concepts from heavy synth and dance floor tracks, to a melodic piano and riffing guitar.

Opening band for the night, Now, Now, is still looking for its defined sound, but none the less is still a riveting and aspiring band to watch. The band’s sound consists of the mid-2000s surging indie with the use of a xylophone and lyrics that match the pulsating beat of the track. The lead female vocals add more significance to the lyrics and make it sound that much better.

The next band, Vacationers, was a tad stereotypical. The band’s music seemed to be made using the same procedures and processes used to make top 40 “rock” tracks. There was no sense of anything different that this band offers that is not already in existence elsewhere.  Not only was the music equally mellow and repetitive, but the lead singer found himself immersed too deeply into his own music making it look absurd when he would jump around on stage.

After that scene, The Naked and Famous took the stage.

As the lights dimmed the band went on stage and three large LCD panels lit up behind them. The drums beats began and the first verse started with half of the crowd screaming the lyrics to, “All of This.” Following that track, the band played the single, “Punching in a Dream.”

The light show, which used the synth and drums as a template to function, was a very impressive display that only added to the amazing show.

The mixed crowd, however, did affect the show to an extent. The environment dwindled as the band began to play songs that were not widely known, which caused a lack of audience participation at times. Overall, though, there was no denying the intensity the synth has in tracks created by this band.

The Naked and Famous closed the encore set with, “Young Blood,” which made both fans and spectators move and sing along to the anthem of this band.

The album only has thirteen tracks, so the show was short in comparison to others, but that was made up to the fans as the band set up a meet and greet after the show.

Last time they were in Houston, the band opened for English band Foals at Fitzgerald’s, so to see the progress that one year has produced is truly a marvel. There is much to look forward to as the band does one final tour of this album and then heads back to the studio to work on their next full length album.

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