Review: Local Natives concert

Members of the music-loving community who spent the latter half of the week in Austin for South by Southwest missed a fantastic performance by Local Natives at Fitzgerald’s on Friday.

Having just completed the international leg of its world tour, Local Natives chose Houston as its first U.S. location. Their second full-length album, “Hummingbird,” was released in January, three years after its debut record “Gorilla Manor.” “Gorilla Manor” made it to the Billboard Top 200 and gave the band the number three spot on the Best New Artist chart.
“Hummingbird” shows the marked progression of Local Natives as a band and does not fall short of the expectation of excellence in proceeding “Gorilla Manor.” That said, this show was highly anticipated amongst music lovers and rightfully so.
After a stellar performance by the opener, Superhumanoids, what seemed to be technical difficulties kept Local Natives from taking the stage, but most of the issues with the sound were ironed out in the first three of its 15-song set.
Opening with “You & I” and closing with “Bowery,” the show was essentially a live performance of “Hummingbird,” although a few of the better known tracks from “Gorilla Manor” found their way into the ears of an all-but-receptive crowd, most of whom joined vocalists Kelcey Ayer, Taylor Rice and Ryan Hahn in singing the band’s tunes word-for-word.
Since its beginning, Local Natives has always been a band that knows exactly how to groove, and in performing songs that initially brought the group a following, like “World News,” “Who Knows Who Cares,” and “Sun Hands,” not a single body was still nor was a single voice silent.
On stage, the band members poured their hearts into their instruments and filled the walls of Fitzgerald’s upstairs with exceptional music. Having such exceptional chemistry as musicians, Local Natives puts on such an honest performance — each member adds a unique facet to the band’s high-energy set list, which was only amplified in the crowd’s overwhelmingly positive response to their music.
Though fatigue was visible on the musicians’ faces, the performance lacked almost nothing, save for having a few minor sound issues that put a damper on the first few songs of the set.
After releasing such a phenomenal album in January, Local Natives chose the right growing scene of music aficionados in Houston to kick off the remainder of the band’s U.S. tour. The crowd came hungry for the vocal harmonies, percussive elements and chord progression that are unique to the Los Angeles-based band, and Local Natives served them exactly what they were looking for.

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