all words: Courtney Pitman, all photos: Eric Uhlir
My Saturday night at the 9:30 Club with Local Natives carried with it some weighty connotations. In October 2010, I made my very first pilgrimage to 9:30 for the previous Local Natives show, just a few weeks after I had moved to DC. En route, I saw an old study-abroad friend framed in the picturesque window of Nellie’s and was introduced to my current roommate/friend/main music squeeze, who was leading their 9:30-bound trek to review Local Natives for something called BYT. And so began my fervent love affair with live music in DC. Coming full circle on Saturday, that new friend and I went to somewhere around our 60th show together. I couldn’t have known it then, but that night, that show, that moment I glanced into the soft Nellie’s lighting (with complete naiveté to the dancing that later conspires within), has literally shaped the last 2.5 years of my life.
Okay, now to temper all of those #feelings I just vomited above, I’m going to write the rest of this review from the internal monologue I’ve contrived for the douchebag who was standing directly in front of us. For no reason in particular, I’ve decided to name him Scott.
These peeps that aren’t Local Natives are kinda sick, why isn’t anyone else dancing? Let’s do this. My rhythm is on tonight, I bet I look like I know the songs because I’m so into it. Oh hey, that dude’s dancing over there too, I’ma nod so he knows we’re on the same page. Yeahhhh. He knows. Good thing we got here at 8, it’s not even that full yet. And I’ll have time to crush a few more vodka tonics before shit gets real. Hey Jen, what’s up, babe, just reminding you I’m still behind you.
No one here is even trying, the synths are EPIC. This would be way tighter if they were dressed like Tom Cruise from that movie when he’s dancing in his socks and sunglasses. Especially the Super Human dude, is he an 80’s robot? Fog. Fog. Fooog. Fog. Oh, word, the chick’s singing again.
Vodka—CRUSHED! What, vodka?! What? Get outta here, plastic cup. Alright, those Super Human guys are gone, let’s do this Local Natives. I’ma grab another drink, where is everybody, isn’t this shiz sold out? Do people even know Local Natives? I bet they’re not even real fans. I bet they heard them on Pandora.
Vodka two—CRUSHED! What, vodka?! What? Shit, why are those chicks mean-mugging? Wait, is this really happening? “No, no I didn’t put that other cup in front of you, that wasn’t from me.” Oh please, watch me turn the tables on these hags. “Well actually, there were these other people standing behind us earlier that we hated so that’s why I put that there.” Fuck, they’re still whining. “Well puddles on the ground make it more fun because you get to slide around!” I’m over this. “Come on, it’s all good, what’s your favorite Local Natives song?” Nice, totally smoothed that one over. “Well I’m not good with song titles, but I like that one that goes ‘And when I CAN feel WITH my SUN hands!’” That was so easy.
Shit, I have to pee. I’ma get some more drinks on my way back. Fuck, this place filled up. “Excuse me, excuse me. You guys all hate me, I know.” Psh, they don’t hate me. “I just spilled some drink on you. I’m sorry, you know, it’s crazy. Local Natives!” Vodka-Red Bull can’t be STOPPED, son. “Excuse me, excuse me everyone, I was up there.
Alright, back. That’s right, BACK.
Locallll Nativessss. Let’s DO this. These bros have awesome facial hair. I wonder what I’d look like with a mustache. Nice. Look at my biceps dancing to “Breakers.” Did Brian see that? Let me flex for him again. Yeahhh, you know. The drums are siiiick. Look at the singer drumming too. I feel that beat. I feel that. They are wailing on that “my ooooowwwn eyes” jam, everyone’s into this now. This is almost as good as Mumford & Sons.
Are those bitches behind me going to glare at me all night? I bet I can get them to dance with me. Ready, and swerrrve. Big Sean. And swerrrve. This is the truth. Everyone sees it. High fives. Why is this song so slow? I’ma keep nodding to keep the pace up. This is more like an xx song, why is this so slow? Alright, now the little pirate man is killing it on this guitar solo. Jump. Jump.
Can I get an encore, do you want more?
This is too quiet. I’m gonna clap. Yeh. Yeh. I started this. Keep it going. C’mon everybody. Shit, where is the beat on this? Who knows, who cares is right, pick it back up. SUN HANDS. Let’s do it. Why is this so slow? C’mon, rage! Rage. Ra—yes! AND WHEN I CAN FEEL WITH MY SUN HANDS I PROMISE NOT TO LOSE HER AGAIN. Killed it.
Alright, let’s go to Brixton.
Wrap-up: Brightest and Dimmest Moments
- The “World News” / ”Airplanes” back-to-back combo
- And the “Who Knows Who Cares” / “Sun Hands” combo to close out the encore with a slower ballad leading into an epic breakdown during the “Sun Hands” interlude
- Pretty much every Gorilla Manor song, really. The harmonies are a building tool, a means to a beautiful multi-dimensional end product, rather than the often obligatory-sounding harmonies from the recent Hummingbird.
- Overall, the crowd was actually pretty great
- Standing in a puddle
- Black Balloons is not a Goo Goo Dolls cover