Gig Review: Bombay Bicycle Club Shines At The Wiltern Theatre
Best. Gig. Of. 2014.
I’ve been to more shows and seen more acts than I can remember this year, but Bombay Bicycle Club completely and beautifully blew my mind more than any other artist did in 2014 (including The Killers, The Black Keys, etc–so imagine).
The night kicked off with local band Milo Greene, who were probably one of the best opening acts I have seen. Their sound was clean and creative, subtle but sweet. Imagine an American version of indie darlings Of Monsters and Men, and you’re close to MG’s sound . The guys and gal of Milo Greene impressively played through an awesome catalog of songs new and old, including “1957,” “What’s The Matter,” and “White Lies.” From what I heard in the crowd, Milo Greene definitely had more than a few fans in attendance at the Wiltern, and they deserve the love. Not only can four of the five members sing (very well at that), they each play more than one instrument. It was quintessentially the perfect set up to what became a fantastic, euphoric night.
As the lights dimmed and the circular backdrop screens lit up, four unassuming English blokes and their tour mates (including female vocalist Liz Lawrence) walked onto the stage to a stellar reception. Perhaps the crowd had caught onto the fact that Yahoo! Live was streaming the Wiltern show tonight?
While that might have initiated the energy, it definitely wasn’t what sustained it. Kicking the show off with old favorites like “Shuffle,” Bombay Bicycle Club had the crowd pack in to watch them show off their chops. Fresh off of their nomination for the UK’s prestigious Mercury Prize, Jack Steadman and co. showed Los Angeles the best time. Varying between old and new material, Bombay Bicycle Club championed through their set which featured “Lights Out, Words Gone,” “It’s Alright Now,” “Overdone,” and “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep.” All songs were accompanied by a beautifully animated series and the best lighting design I’ve seen from a live band, which enhanced the show like no other.
What sets Bombay Bicycle Club apart from even the best bands that I’ve seen this year is their ability to seamlessly vacillate between subtle sounds, headbanging rock, and experimental electronic music. Linked together only by Steadman’s raw and yearning vocals, every song sounded as if it was produced by a different artist. For this reason, the set was jam packed with highlights and variety. The tracks were so perfectly executed that I wish it could have lasted forever; that’s what the buzzing audience wanted as well. All through the night, people were dancing, clapping at their own will, stomping, and banging on tables.
Grinning from ear to ear because of the audience’s beaming enthusiasm, Steadman and his band mates carried on, playing “Always Like This,” “Luna,” and the Bollywood inspired “Feel.” After a brief moment off stage, the incessant cheers beckoned the Londoners to play their encore. Returning to the stage and closing out the set with the heavy hitter that is “Carry Me,” Bombay Bicycle Club won the hearts of Los Angeles in just one and a half hours.
From the beautiful lighting and animation to the impeccably raw talent that all members of the British band seem to possess, it’s a wonder why Americans have taken so long to acknowledge the pure genius that is Bombay Bicycle Club. The band injected so much energy into the crowd that when Steadman found a rare moment of silence midshow, he said that “this is the best crowd we’ve played to in…quite a long while.” Fair play, Steadman, because it was one of the best shows I have been to in…quite a long while. Excuse my candor, but this show was so brilliant that I’m afraid to go to any more shows because they probably won’t live up to this one.*
*I’m still going to go to shows who are we kidding?
Originally posted here.