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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Live review: The Naked and Famous, The Fillmore (2/25/2014)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:45 AM

The Naked and Famous w/ Ancient Cities
The Fillmore
Feb. 25, 2014

The Naked and Famous

"We are so privileged to be able to play music every night, and we're glad you're here to be a part of it," The Naked and Famous singer/keyboardist Alisa Xayalith told the Fillmore crowd on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Halfway through the New Zealand band's 80-minute, 15-song set, Xayalith was all smiles as she sang and danced her way around the stage.

Opening with a few songs from its latest album, In Rolling Waves, The Naked and Famous offers an electronics-infused brand of music that teeters between indie rock, shoegaze and synthpop. Driving the songs foward are the vocals of Xayalith and singer/guitarist Thom Powers.

Currently on tour opening for Imagine Dragons, it was clear The Naked and Famous appreciates the opportunity of a gig like this to be the center of attention as the headliner. The music's infectious grooves not only got the audience moving, but the group itself had a hard time standing still - even the merch girl was singing and dancing along.

The Naked and Famous

The Naked and Famous provides an interesting balance of electronic vs. traditional instrumentation, with neither becoming overwhelming. The group can also slow things down for "Grow Old," giving Powers the spotlight, or quickly get people singing along with the more familiar "Punching in a Dream" or "No Way."

As the band wrapped up its two-song encore with "Young Blood," Xayalith gave the crowd plenty of opportunities to shout out the song's "Yeah Yeah Yeah" chorus, leaving the audience in a synthpop haze as it said farewell.

Ancient Cities

Charlotte's Ancient Cities, in its bolstered quartet lineup, was the opening act. I'd seen singer/guitarist Stephen Warwick and bassist Justin Fedor (The New Familiars) as a duo in the past, but the addition of drummer Jonathan Erickson (The Hot Gates, Small Talk Industries, The Noises 10) and a keyboardist filled out the band's sound nicely.

Warwick's vocals hit a broad range behind his strong storytelling lyrics, while Fedor appears to enjoy the opportunity to sit back, fill in the low end and provide harmonies vs. his usual frantic-frontman-in-the-Familiars gig. It's no surprise that the group got added to the Floydfest lineup for this spring.

The Naked and Famous

Naked and Famous setlist
A Stillness
Hearts Like Ours
Rolling Waves
The Sun
Frayed
I Kill Giants
Grow Old
All of This
Punching In a Dream
Waltz
No Way
To Move with Purpose

Encore
The Mess
Young Blood

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