Live shows these past two months

Melbourne's Skybombers have massive potential

Here are the shows I’ve checked out over the last couple of months.

Local Natives played just before Christmas at The Echo.  They are local to LA but have been quite the rage in England.  They’re a band that the Animal Collective/Grizzly Bear crowd will love–very strong musically but not exactly made for radio. 

Hockey were at Spaceland in January.  Their songs are groomed for radio and they play well.  A harsh sound mix marred the show.

I caught some of  Fyfe Dangerfield’s show at Scala during my London trip. He has a splendid voice, and the sold-out venue was loving him. For my tastes, I wished the set was more uptempo. He mostly played solo and was occasionally backed by two string players.

Speaking of London, the UK’s V.V. Brown delighted her Spaceland crowd back in LA. She’s got a great voice and is very likable with lots of energy.

Sticking with our UK theme, Editors brought their newly synth-heavy approach to The Wiltern. The older guitar-oriented songs worked the best. New single “Papillon” was part of the encore and was the one new tune played with the joy of  the band’s popular early favorites.

Brendan Benson’s Troubadour solo gig demonstrated that he’s come a long way and that he’s now got a solid band with him. I hoped to see him change things up a bit, as it all started to sound alike about two-thirds of the way into the set.

Australia’s Skybombers are in LA recording their second album, and they took a break to play at The Viper Room. Indications are that their keen sense of melody remains in tact, although this album will probably be a bit less intense.

We Were Promised Jetpacks sold-out The Troubadour. These Scottish dudes have power and integrity. Lots of people were singing along, but we may not hear much of them on the radio besides their track “Quiet Little Voices”.

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