GIG: LONDON GRAMMAR LIVE AT THE EL REY
As much as I adore the 90s trip pop and ambient elements of London Grammar’s stellar new album “If You Wait,” I was curious as to how the trio would translate their slow jams live. Curious, but not doubtful;the English group surely delivered despite a truncated set due to frontwoman Hannah Reid’s toothache.
Centered in the middle of the pit at the El Rey Theatre, the show felt more like a gig rather than a concert. Besides the occasional camera flickers, listeners only cheered when Hannah finished a song.
After their opening act, Highasakite, played, Dan, Hannah, and Dot walked onto stage and kicked off the show with their power ballad, “Hey Now.” As the beats quickened towards the end of the song, the crowd clearly engaged in the music. “Wasting My Young Years,” one of the trip hop anthems that catapulted the London group towards success, was followed by powerful tracks like “Flickers” and “Strong,” which is a personal favorite of mine.
As much of a focal point as Hannah was on the stage, it was surprisingly pleasant how much both Dan and Dot contributed to the whole experience. Dan and Dot provided the essential instrumentation which elevated Hannah’s deep and steady voice, which was as fine as aged red wine. The dynamic of the group functions completely in the group’s favor-they seem to work off of one another’s strengths to transform the atmosphere for their audience.
Because the set was cut short, the group only returned to the stage to do a one song encore. They ended the night with the percussion heavy “Metal and Dust,” which showed off Dot’s range of talent and ended the night on a bang. It’s clear that the group has enough talent to go far in America; not only because of Hannah’s calming Soprano tone, but also because their live show brings a whole new dimension to their album. In fact, their current North American tour has already been completely sold out, so next time they announce a US tour, be sure to grab tickets as soon as they go on sale.