Attractive opposites at the Troub: Jenny&Johnny, Futureheads

Jenny & Johnny's show was as good as advertised

Jenny & Johnny have one of the best recent albums, and their Tuesday Troubadour show sold out. Jenny, of course, is Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis. Her boyfriend is musician Jonathan Rice. They first worked together in 2005, and this gig showed beyond a doubt that Johnny is more than able to hold his own. The songs are good and their harmonies flawless. They both have a fine stage presence. The entire band is a 4-piece, and the other guys deliver just fine. Politically relevant lyrics are a staple for them, and current single “Big Wave” covers the faltering California economy.  Most of the set rocks, and the crowd was beautifully silent for the duo’s accoustic segment in the middle of the show. People in LA are stoked to hear that J&J have been added to the Cultures Collide bill this coming Sunday night.

The Futureheads graced the same stage the following night, playing a smoking set to a moderate-sized but enthusiastic crowd. Completely different than the night before, there wasn’t a soft note to be heard, and that’s exactly what one expects from a Futureheads show. The band was tight. All of the hits were played. Most of the the less familiar songs came from the first album, which was a pleasant surprise to their core fans. They were last in LA 4 years ago, and their live banter now includes far more humor, which definitely works. Their last album is a 2010 highlight for me, but the band is underappreciated at a time when this style of music isn’t as much in vogue either here or in the U.K. They’re hanging in there, and I give them major kudos for that.

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