The last time Local Natives played a show in Columbia, Missouri, they had just released their first album, Gorilla Manor, and they played at Mojo’s at a ticket rate of $8. Now, four years later, they are no longer an obscure indie band, but instead a critically renowned yet humble giant in the national indie scene.
Local Natives is one of those tragic cases, however, where they have trouble translating their incredibly powerful and dynamic live performance into the layered and exciting album it should create. That isn’t to say that their two studio albums are not good – they are. But their live performance is what truly sets them apart.
The Blue Note was packed with fans on Tuesday night (a school night during the two most stressful weeks of the college semester for most of the attendees). There was little room to breathe, let alone dance, and people were fighting their personal battles to get to the front.
This was one of the final tour dates for Local Natives’ tour for their latest album Hummingbird, and they held nothing back. The most amazing thing about the band’s music is how entirely unexpected it is at times. Each song contains enough twists, turns, and tempo changes to keep the audience on edge at all times. There is never a dull moment.
Toward the end of the show, frontman Taylor Rice nervously let the audience members lift him up off the stage and pass him around the floor, eventually making his way back to finish the song. The encore was even more powerful than the rest of the show, and a perfect ending to what was no doubt a relentless tour.
Photos by Kylee Gregg.