The Naked and Famous at House of Blues, 10/03/2013
Let's talk clichés. One of my favorites is the one about the burden of having that "one song." Sure, it makes you money and gets audiences in the door, but money doesn't buy happiness and is playing to the wrong crowd really better than playing to no crowd at all?
I have no idea if The Naked and Famous have thought about any of those things ever. In fact, judging by their stage banter, I imagine that they're pretty happy with their current lot in life. They exist in that happy middle ground that makes them too new and too old to be a one-hit wonder. Right now they're a promising band who has one really great breakout single that sells tickets and a pair of records with quality material that hardcore fans can obsess over.
The good news is that they are also a solid live band, perhaps even great, as anyone who really listened would discover. And if you couldn't pay attention to the quiet moments, well, at least they did a really good version of that song you like from that commercial.
Before TNAF took the stage, the crowd was treated to a solid set from The Colourist. The band made mention a couple of times of the fact that they're from Southern California, which explains why their brand of indie-pop is so damn bright and infectious. They're the type of band that you can easily see headlining a show at Fitz once they get the right single recorded.
On the whole they did a good job of winning the crowd over, aside from the unfortunate decision to drop an acoustic number in to the middle of their set that damn near got drowned out by the chatty crowd. They recovered nicely, and by the end of their set they had most of the crowd dancing.
Major kudos to Maya Tuttle in particular for making something that I assume is difficult -- playing drums and singing while also having long hair -- look very easy.
The Naked and Famous have two modes. The first is quiet and atmospheric; the other is rocking and anthemic. They are at their best when they blend the two together, the loud parts providing the catharsis to the quiet buildup. That kind of action started early with their set opener, "A Stillness," which builds over the course of a few minutes until exploding in to a foot-stomper you can't help but move to.
Review continues on the next page.