Show Review: Local Natives with Suckers at Bottom of the Hill, 6/3/2010

by Gordon Elgart on June 4, 2010

Not local, possibly native. All fashionable.

Somewhere during this show, this genre became dead to me. I don’t even know what you call the genre (besides “typical” indie rock), but I’ll try to describe it. A bunch of dudes wearing clothes they bought at thrift stores (or are meant to look like they bought them at thrift stores in Brooklyn) play mid-tempo numbers, and then occasionally the songs build to a giant crescendo where they all scream into their microphones together to let you know that this song is intense, man. It now feels a bit fake to me.

Opening up the show was Suckers, who are actually from Brooklyn (or from close enough to Brooklyn to say so). The lead singer was oddly dressed in gold pants, a tropical shirt and a fake black eye.  The band was pretty good, like a less interesting version of TV on the Radio’s mixed falsetto vocals, and seemed pretty easy to dance to. But looking out at the crowd, I don’t think anything could have got these people moving.

I don’t want to say that Local Natives and Suckers don’t have any fans, but I don’t think they have any fans. There was a decided lack of singing along, dancing, and even smiling at this show. Bottom of the Hill was a sold-out crowd of people who were buying into some sort of hype that they didn’t really understand. No matter what kind of energy came off the stage, there was nothing going back toward it. It was downright boring.

That was a pretty competent group of musicians on stage, though. Everything was played really well, but they don’t bring anything new to the table. There’s no real standout track — well, there’s “Sun Hands” — but even that one lacked the feel of authenticity to me. Perhaps it’s because Local Natives come from Los Angeles, a place that has no business producing indie rock bands. What’s indie about LA, anyway?

It’s a shame, though, that this wave of I Don’t Care came during Local Natives because they’re better than 90% of the other bands just like them. It’s just that if I see another band where the lead singer has a drum, the 2nd lead singer has a giant mustache, and the bass player wears a painter’s cap with the lid turned up, and I’m standing in the middle of a bunch of apathetic attendees, I’m going to go home early.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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