Author: Annie Borse
Wednesday, April 5th, in Madison proved to be another rainy night as concertgoers filed in to the Majestic Theater to momentarily escape the cold and damp weather. Walking in, these music lovers sought refuge from the dreariness of Wisconsin in a tiny piece of California that has been touring the country, Local Natives. The atmosphere was welcoming, and everyone was eager to be immersed in the warmth of Local Native’s sound. The theater was filled with all types of people, all waiting for one thing, the first glimpse at the band coming on stage. When they did finally appear, people screamed as if this was their favorite band of all time, and based on the level of passion for these guys shown by the crowd, it probably was.
They opened with “Past Lives,” a song off of their most recent album, Sunlit Youth, and from then on their set list was speckled with classics from their debut album and hits from their sophomore record. Comparing their recorded music and their live renditions is tough because these guys were so spot on in their harmonies and vocals. The sign of a great band is that their recorded sound doesn’t do their live sound justice, and for Local Natives this is absolutely true. The range of the band’s lead singers, Taylor Rice and Kelcey Ayer, were phenomenal. Not only were their voices genuine, but so was their message that they relayed to the crowd, which was to not let the current political climate make us lose hope, and for us to continue being accepting and loving individuals.
That word genuine is the best way to describe the entire experience of the show. The guys in the band were all having as much fun as the crowd was. They did a band’s classic, “We are so happy to be back in (insert city name here) …” shtick, but when Taylor tried to embarrass Kelcey by mentioning his drunken karaoke night after one of their first shows, which happened to take place at a bar in Madison, it made the usual introduction seem all the more personal.
Two of my favorite moments included when they broke out into one of their most popular songs, “Airplane” and everyone went wild. It was one of the few moments where everyone in the room knew all the lyrics and wasn’t afraid to sing them. Then, when the band was getting ready to play one of my personal favorite songs, “Dark Days,” a song that is a duet, they brought up the lead singer of the opening band Little Scream, Laurel Sprengelmeyer. She complimented Kelcey’s voice perfectly, but it was at the end of the song when all the guys congratulated her with a round of high fives that got me.
All in all, Local Natives is just a band of friends that loved what they are doing and want to share their message with their listeners. Seeing them live and how they treat other musicians 100% proves that.