Last Night at 35 Conferette: Local Natives Soaks Up The Sun, Even In The Dark
Main Stage One
With the slightest adjustment of the pink and purple berry-colored lights, the teeming Denton crowd, prematurely yelped for their Saturday night headlining act, Los Angeles' Local Natives. The night had long been dark, and a young Denton crowd with dogs and bikes and beards had gathered, anxiously anticipating what would be the performance of the night.
With little fanfare, suddenly, the five-piece took the stage, briefly apologized to the audience for the short delay, and launch into "Camera Talk," one of the many intricately arranged offerings from the band's well-received 2010 full-length debut Gorilla Manor.
And that's all it took to get the crowd fully engaged. All eyes remained fixated on Local Natives for the full hour they owned the main stage.
Over the course of that set, the band played musical chairs with their voices and instruments, with vocalists Ryan Hahn, Taylor Rice and Kelcey Ayer taking turns on lead vocals, all the while nailing their multi-part harmonies. Each song sounded as well-practiced as one would expect, given the extensive touring the band has endured over the past year or so. And Denton, one of the band's last stops before returning to Los Angeles for a deserved break, very much reaped the benefits of the band's intensive on-the-job training.
After the band finished its rendition of the Talking Heads' "Warning Signs," and before slowing things down a bit with "Cards & Quarters," Rice addressed the crowd, asking them if they were having a good time. Their response didn't surprise -- they were, as their cheers showed. But it wasn't just the crowd that was having a good time: "I have some joyous news!" Rice shouted out shortly thereafter. "After seeing Reggie Watts, we decided to stay in Denton and hang out!"
"You can accost us in the streets!" chimed in Ayer. "We can have drinks! It's gonna be good."
Judging by their response, it was the best news the crowd had heard all day. The applause was louder than it had been all night.
A little later, more good news, this time from Hahn: "While we love it here, we promise not to come back without a new record."
Then it was back to the music, and the band offered up a wistful performance of "Shape Shifter," a song that wouldn't be out of place in Denton act Seryn's catalog.
And, with little warning, the sun-soaked indie rockers' ended just a few moments later. The band exited the stage, offered a simple "good night" and a few waves.
"Have a great night we'll see you after the show," Rice said.
And, true to form, audiences did. Throughout the rest of the night, the band was camped out on Dan's Silverleaf's patio, mingling with their audience.