LA Music Blog took over Echo Park Monday night, co-presenting the first night of Haunted Summer’s residency at the Echoplex, while I was lucky enough to see Ireland’s Little Green Cars upstairs at the Echo. With these two shows’ powers combined, it’s amazing the hippest part of town is still standing.
The night opened with the only LA band on the bill, The Wild Reeds. I had seen their name around town on various lineups before but had never seen them, and their show was stunning. The group is a five piece with three female frontwomen who take turns harmonizing with the precision of the Andrews Sisters, while the two men handle bass and drum duties.
At the heart of their sound, they are a folk band, which, according to one of their singers, “means that songs only have four chords.” Their style is simple yet rich with those four-chord songs usually including accordion and banjo. Their songs were a nostalgic and sentimental tribute to classic folk while incorporating modern indie experimentation and style.
When they finished their set, nearly half the audience rushed to meet them at the merch table. The Wild Reeds will be doing a December residency at the Satellite, so make sure you take some time out of your holiday shopping schedule to support this amazing local band.
Kris Orlowski followed with his five-piece band. Orlowski blends his folk songwriting with a slightly heavier rock sound reminiscent of bands from the ’90s. His songs seem very personal and heartfelt, and the audience could clearly tell that as well.
The Seattle native had a very calm and casual tone on stage. He and his band were constantly cracking jokes throughout the set, laughing at each other and clearly having fun. Their only setback came when one of the amps started picking up a local talk radio station, but they played over it perfectly and still had a great set.
Little Green Cars set started quietly, and yet it was incredibly powerful. The first two songs featured just guitar and vocals, but this act’s approach to vocals is anything but simple. Their five-part harmonies are rich and flawless, encompassing low bass, high falsettos, and everything in between. The amount of time they must spend rehearsing is mind boggling.
This was the second time in the past few months that Little Green Cars has visited Los Angeles. They have been touring consistently since before the release of their awesome debut record, Absolute Zero. The record is full of songs that seem to draw from pretty devastating personal experiences, which could always be fictional, but they are presented with such conviction, I’m convinced they must be true.
The use of both male and female lead vocals provides excellent perspective on the ideas of love, pain, and relationships that are represented in Little Green Cars’ songs. The instrumentation is simple and supports the vocals perfectly, not taking away from the rich brilliance of the lyrics and harmony.
The only questionable part of their show was their onstage demeanor. Their lead singers are both very gifted in vocal range, character, and lyrical content, but on stage, they both seem a bit nervous and anxious. This might be a part of the show and definitely coincides with the message behind the songs, but regardless of the visual aspect, they sounded incredible.
Little Green Cars put on a great performance and sounded absolutely amazing. Their songs are well thought out and have a way of being upbeat and depressing at the same time…my kind of music. Their Irish background lends itself to their folky, indie-rock sound. I love their record and totally recommend it if you like indie folk. Keep an eye out for them and The Wild Reeds.
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