November 5th, 2009 |


White Rabbits need to get a new opening band, because Local Natives just showed them up. More on that later.

White Rabbits love percussion. In fact, if you know any of their songs, you probably know “Percussion Gun.” I won’t say that going to a White Rabbits concert is like getting shot in the face with that gun, but maybe bonked over the head with the handle of it, say.

This works both for and against them. I mean, who doesn’t love a loud, thumping beat that makes your body move in ways your brain couldn’t come up with? However, if your percussionist is more captivating than your lead singer, you may have a problem.

Stephen Patterson sits at his piano for 90% of the show, and while he sweats and strains his neck till veins pop out, there’s only so much energy you can exude while seated. Matthew Clark, on the other hand, jumps around in the back whacking his drums with tambourines and maracas—he’s exciting!

They played a few fun ones, like “Percussion Gun” and “Kid On My Shoulders,” and then a cover of “Instant Karma!” with Spoon’s Britt Daniel at the end, but the real showstopper took place before White Rabbits even took the stage—Local Natives.

Local Natives are a mustachioed crew from Silverlake who made me feel like I’d stumbled onto buried treasure. I guess other people have discovered this treasure too because they played at SXSW this year, so maybe an unburied treasure, but still—what a great surprise. Their stage presence just oozes band, which only enhances their sweet harmonies and tight instrumentals. Best track of the night was “Wide Eyes” from their new album (only available in the UK currently), Gorilla Manor. Be sure to watch these guys, and White Rabbits: be sure to watch your back.

Amber Hollingsworth