Bonnaroo Opening Night: Local Natives

Local Natives blowup at Bonnaroo

In a few weeks music enthusiasts, journalists, and other industry reps that are much more important and official than I, will look back and say “That performance was important, that was the show Local Natives blew up at, that was where they got big.”  So you heard it here first I suppose.

So, to answer vocalist Taylor Rice’s inquiry…“It’s Thursday,” said Rice to the sea of hipsters that filled That Tent to capacity and then some, “what are you all doing here?..”

We came to see you get famous good sir.

Local Natives is a band cut from the same cloth as Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear, utilizing echoing gang harmonies, low-key rhythmic guitars, and minimalistic percussion giving the music a simplistic acoustic sound.  The difference:  Local Natives make consistently catchier songs.

As the five-piece Silver Lake, California collective rolled into their latest single, “World News,” a captivating number that can only be described as a giant buildup, I couldn’t help but overhear a bohemian looking gentleman to my left yell to anyone who wanted to hear “Right now, at this very moment, this is the coolest place in the world to be!”

I agreed, it definitely was exciting to be present for that sort of bench mark in a young band’s career.  But I couldn’t help myself.  Despite knowing better, I retorted, “What’s the big deal? They look like a bunch of hipsters to me?”
“Well of course they are,” he said, “but they helped create modern hipsterism, they were at the forefront of the movement.  Besides, their music is great.”

He had answered that question before.

And yet I couldn’t argue.  It’s become a pastime of my friends and I to rip on hipsters, but, none of them have ever entertained me like Local Natives had.  So the band got a pass, especially when they broke out a cover of Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign.”

Sporting the Wesley Snipes hat from "White Men Can't Jump"

However, what really gained my respect” was the fact that this group was still humble, hungry, and genuinely surprised at how big a name they had made for themselves.  The mass of Roo patrons was easily the largest audience Local Natives has ever played to and it was illustrated by how tough a time the sound tech had finding the correct levels.

Did the band piss and moan and let it ruin the show? No.  Instead, after each song, the quintet gazed out upon the raucous masses and absorbed the love shower we bestowed upon them.

Ball Pit

About rote7123

Chris graduated from The College Of New Jersey in May 2011 with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Professional Writing, as well as a degree in Communication Studies. He has held down a position in the Asbury Park Press’ Sports Department since September of 2010 and is a contributor to the outlet's Arts & Entertainment section, and has contributed to The Aquarian Weekly all while being the sole operator of Asbury Park's premier music news outlet Speak Into My Good Eye.
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2 Responses to Bonnaroo Opening Night: Local Natives

  1. Pingback: The Speaker Box (Updated All Week) | Speak Into My Good Eye

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