THE WILD REEDS + BLANK RANGE + ALLIE CROW BUCKLEY @ THE TERAGRAM BALLROOM
Photos by Leslie Kalohi Words by Zach Bilson
Returning home after a nationwide tour supporting their new album The World We Built, L.A.’s The Wild Reeds dazzled The Teragram Ballroom with their lush harmonies and textured songwriting. From opening number “Fix You Up,” the instrument-swapping trio of Kinsey Lee, Sharon Silva, and Mackenzie Howe (backed up live by a bassist and drummer) crafted a gorgeous, lock-tight set that pleased a wide swath of showgoers – a look around the crowd showed younger indie-rock types alongside graying Americana fans.
Part of their hometown appeal may be their working-class-musician relatability – TWWB track “Fall To Sleep” elicited some cheers with the line “I know that it’ll be alright / if I can just make it to my 9-5,” a gut-punch for anyone who’s found solace in the droll reliability of their day job. Or it could be that their music is built into the city: “Every time we play that, I think about the time someone sent me a video of them walking my Chihuahua to that song,” Silva chuckled, adding, “What I’m saying is, it’s good to be back in LA!”
Blank Range singer/guitarist Jonathon Childers took the stage with a wistful “City of angels. . . ,” setting the stage well for their romantic country-rock. The Nashville quartet debuted songs off their upcoming record Marooned With the Treasure, Childers trading sweltering southern riffs with guitarist Grant Gustafson while drummer Matt Novotny and bassist Taylor Zachry swayed and sashayed along. Childers expressed some sadness in their month-long tour with The Wild Reeds coming to a close – “I told myself I wouldn’t cry,” he half-joked – but the band brought out Lee, Silva and Howe out for a couple of tunes, including Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.”
LA-via-SF singer Allie Crow Buckley opened the show with a set of delicate folk/country, having just this week released her debut EP. Tunes like “Wrong End of the Gun” took on new life live, Buckley breaking out an autoharp for some celestial melodic touches.