Dig Baton Rouge

Foreign Locals

By Pat Gunther
DIG Entertainment Writer

The Varsity Theatre is in for a captivating show on April 12th. Opening for the Local Natives is the up-and-coming folk-soul musician Moses Sumney. By crafting aurally entrancing loops complemented by a beautifully moving voice, Sumney can command a crowd from the first note of his guitar.

Though, at times, a stark contrast to his indie counterparts, Sumney’s ethereal and titillating music provides the perfect set-up for a group that thrives off the energy of its rapidly increasing and staggeringly eclectic fan-base.

After releasing their second album Hummingbird in Jan. of 2013, the Silver Lake-based quintet Local Natives has received a fair share of well-deserved recognition. The often vibrant, yet soothing sounds of Local Natives has led to widespread notoriety within the music industry as evident by their albeit brief, yet impressive touring record.

w/ Special Guest Moses Sumney
Saturday – April 12th
Doors open at 8PM
$20 in Advance – $22 Day of Show
Available at The Chimes Restaurant or on www.ticketweb.com

Compared to their first album Gorilla Manor, Hummingbird provides listeners with a combination of pulsing drum kicks, emotive guitar strumming, and thought-provoking, introspective lyrics. The personal touch present in every track is what aids Local Natives in capturing the hearts and minds of each audience they perform in front of.

“We kinda just get together in a room and we all work on something that we’ve started individually and get excited,” keyboardist and vocalist Kelcey Ayer said, “We see where they go and work on molding the project in a direction that we all really dig.”

Though they’ve never played in Baton Rouge, Local Natives have performed at several venues across the south. “The crowds have always been really amped up, and a lot of these places seem to have a really great vibe when we play,” Ayer said.

Since going on tour with The National last year, and now Kings of Leon, the group has played at a multitude of different venues. “I think it [the quality of a show] all depends on the audience,” Ayer stated, “It doesn’t matter if it’s the biggest place or the smallest place. You can have an amazing show in the weirdest places,” Ayer finished.

Although the venue definitely plays a part, the most important aspect of any concert is the set-list. “It’s pretty meticulous. It may be the one thing we fight about the most,” Ayer stated. “We think about the flow and the vibe. We want our sets to have a beginning, middle and end.” Ayer said.

Just like their albums, Local Natives’ shows strive to bring an audience through a vast array of emotions. “I think we have a really good handle on how to massage different songs into the set,” Ayer said, “It’s a great way to kinda direct a conversation with the audience when you’re trying to really enjoy the high and low moments in between.”

Depending on the moment, Ayer feels that a specific level of energy is best suited to their varying catalogue of sounds. “I think ‘Bowery’ is my personal favorite song to play,” Ayer acknowledged. “I think it really sums us up well just ‘cause of all the different parts in it,” he went on. “It feels a little different, and it just really fun to play, it feels the most current with our tastes right now.” Ayer stated.

It’s the meticulously crafted set-lists, attention to detail, and impressive energy that makes the Local Natives come to life on stage. “I don’t know if I ever expect anything out of a crowd,” Ayer said, “I expect us to want to connect with them. It’s really fun to keep an open mind and be able to be surprised by a crowd in any place.” Even if they’re completely unaware of what to expect, Local Natives bring the same substance and passion present in their albums to every show.

When the guys from Los Angeles take the stage on April 12th, you can be sure they’re going to maintain the spontaneity and personality that their devoted fans love so much.

“We just try to forget everything and be in the moment,” Ayer said, “I guess it’s our attitude of wanting to have fun. If that’s contagious, it just gets infused in the audience. If you think about it too much, it’ll ruin everything.”


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