Do people ever really forget how to let loose, or do we sometimes just need a forceful reminder? At the sold out Suckers and Local Natives show at the Larimer Lounge on Friday, most everyone present was jolted from idle toe-tapping and thrown into the effervescent aural frenzy both bands created.
Suckers, hailing from New York, took to the stage in a fury of joyous racket, lead singer Quinn Walker grinning and yelling into the mic with a face painted like a superhero and a cape flapping over his gold lamé leggings. The quintet didn’t pause to let the sweating crowd catch up.
Song after song they banged out sparkly, percussive tunes that filled the black room with effusive energy, people beginning to bounce around and surrender to the full bodied, engaging music they created.
When their short set was over, the room settled down and pushed to the front of the space as Los Angeles’ Local Natives set up. It was a stage littered with strange percussion, an acoustic bass and layers and layers of guitars. When the five of them stepped into the labyrinth of musical equipment and went to their appropriate instruments, no one was shy about screaming in their neighbors’ ear to showcase the building excitement.
That excitement was captured and thrown recklessly into the stratosphere by Local Natives’ set, which swept through the room with the first explosive guitar lick from Taylor Rice into “Camera Talk.” The band’s debut, “Gorilla Manor,” spins with boundless beats and exploratory harmonies paired with piercing and inexplicably haunting lyrics. The album performed live is akin to being in a tribal drum circle.
With the Larimer so hot, it wasn’t hard to imagine a fire pit with towering flames, beckoning with screaming, three-part harmonies and demanding fearless audience participation — which was answered with knots of people around the room throwing up their hands and singing along to the songs with abandon.
Local Natives are expansive on stage. They treat the smallest venue like a forest at night, belting out each song with disarming passion and determination. Rice, Kelcey Ayer and Ryan Hahn wove harmonies that blended together effortlessly, and their ease on stage made for a show that rolled along at a breakneck but dizzyingly fun pace.
During a rare break for banter, Ayer announced that Andy Hamm, their bass player, was from Colorado and would be requiring shots after the show. Before launching into their electric cover of “Warning Sign,” originally by Talking Heads, the crowd response guaranteed Hamm wouldn’t have trouble celebrating his homecoming. The entire show felt like a celebration — of dancing and of singing, and of music that makes even the most stoic of head bobbers recall the days of banging on pots and pans and making noise just for the joy of it.
Follow Reverb on Twitter! Here!
Kathleen Tarrant is a Boulder writer whose other work can be found on her blog, My Best Friend’s Arm.
Joe McCabe is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb. Check out his website.