Local Natives 

Sings Back and Forth with The Crowd

Words: WBRU
Photos: Ashley Morse
November 2, 2016

Friday night at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel with Local Natives was anything but heartbreak-y.

The crowd gathered, chatting by the stage and drinking around the bar before the concert. Swanky jazz music made you appreciate the unique ambience of the old hotel, and ended as opening act Charlotte Day Wilson took the stage. The Toronto native was the definition of cool, walking onstage in a red hoodie and beanie. She stood before the audience unafraid and unaffected, her soulful voice all the performance the crowd needed. The R&B vibes of Wilson’s music intertwined with modern beats and rock-inspired sounds, and her beautiful voice (and ability to pull off insane runs) carried the weight of the music. Her chill, heartfelt vocals seemed just what the audience was looking for in an opener, as many in the crowd nodded appreciatively to the beat. Several CDW fans were in the audience and cheered loudly at Wilson’s most popular song, “Work.” It was Wilson’s first time in Providence, and she was definitely a welcome addition to the great array of artists to visit the city. Highlight of the set: Charlotte casually pulling out a saxophone and killing it while the crowd went wild.

During the set change, the stage filled with a smoky haze that headliner Local Natives burst through to start their much-anticipated performance. As the LA-based indie rock band, comprised of members Taylor Rice (vocals, guitar), Kelcey Ayer (vocals, keyboards, percussion, guitar), Ryan Hahn (guitar, keyboard, mandolin, vocals), Matt Frazier (drums), and Nik Ewing (bass), began to play, concertgoers surged forward, happy to fulfill their dream of seeing the band live. Local Natives’ ethereal, harmonious vocals, paired with its classic, head-nod-able style, made for the best of performances.

The band played past hits like “Airplanes,” “Wide Eyes,” “Who Knows Who Cares,” and “Past Lives.” The light and intricate sound on Local Natives’ recordings shifts a little in concert; the music takes on a rock-like vibe that makes it more danceable (just ask any member of the mosh pit!). Lights swirled in blues, pinks and yellows, reflecting off the massive disco ball in the venue. The music seemed to be alive, coming out to the crowd as audience members sang it back in a totally cool exchange. A great range of old and new songs kept fans engaged as they howled, sang, and danced along, screeching in excitement when frontman Taylor Rice stood on the guardrail before them and sang “Villainy,” a song from the band’s newest record Sunlit Youth.

As Local Natives began to play everyone’s favorite breakup song, “Ceilings,” there was a commotion in the crowd. People began to part, making space for…a proposal! The band stopped playing and the audience looked on eagerly as she said YES. Joyfully, Local Natives restarted the song, dedicating it and the rest of the concert to the happy and definitely not heartbreak-y couple.

The band wrapped up with just as much energy as they started with, stopping to let the crowd know that one dollar of every ticket sold was to go towards an organization against gender-based violence. In the same vein, Local Natives announced that their new album was about the state of the world, preaching hope and optimism and reminding concert-goers to vote! The night ended with a rad encore; hits like ‘Fountain of Youth’ left crowd members giddy with happiness, excited about the time they had, and not looking forward to the post-concert depression ahead. Thanks to Lupo’s, Local Natives and Charlotte Day Wilson for a great night! Check out our pics of the show below.

Tune into Local Natives here︎︎︎






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