WARPAINT + WILD BELLE @ SANTA MONICA PIER
Photos by Leslie Kalohi Words by Zach Bilson
Santa Monica Pier’s 33rd (yes, you read that correctly) annual Twilight Concert series concluded with a bang, featuring L.A.’s own Warpaint, as well as Chicagoans Wild Belle and DJ sets from KCRW’s Jason Bentley.
Bentley has enough starpower on his own to pack the Pier’s wooden floor, but from the screams he induced while introducing Warpaint, it was clear who the massive crowd (including a sizeable beach party) was there for. The quartet may have been one of the darker acts to grace the Pier, but from their Heads Up title track through smash hit “New Song,” the screams, gyrations and flailing limbs didn’t let up.
Dual vocalists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman crafted gorgeous harmonies to match the waves crashing in from either side of the Pier – it was a mystifying performance from a band that are just starting to hit their peak of popularity. Bentley plugged their four October performances opening for Depeche Mode’s Hollywood Bowl shows, and by the sound of it, a lot of the crowd were already planning on going.
The concert had opened a few hours earlier, allowing for an easy transition from “day off at the Pier rides” to “getting a drink at the show.” Day trippers were also treated to a performance from Wild Belle, as the brother-sister duo of Elliot and Natalie Bergman pumped us up with danceable, twangy funk. Whether due to the Twilight Concerts’ growing popularity or Wild Belle’s gorgeous grooves, more than a couple of people remarked feeling like they were at the Coachella main stage. Not a bad bit of nostalgia for mid-August.