It was a chilly Sunday night last December when I traveled to Philly to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes at the First Unitarian Church. I found out that two other bands were on the bill. I’m thinking, “It’s Sunday night and I have to wait through two other bands till I get to hear Edward Sharpe?”
The first band is a rag-tag bunch of guys who call themselves, ‘Local Natives’. From the first song I am pretty much blown away. They had me at hello. The tight vocal harmonies and energy level of the show was amazing. It was more like Friday night energy than Sunday night, if you know what I mean. I got to say ‘howdy’ to the band after their set and got a demo of five songs, one of which, ‘Sun Hand”, ended up on their debut album, Gorilla Manor, named after the house they all lived and worked in. Sun Hand got deserved major airplay on local public indie radio giants like 88.5 WXPN.
I got chat with drummer, Matt Frazier, as the band begins to kick off another tour, this time as headliners, which takes them back to Philly in October. I ask if the band is blown away by what’s happened in the last 8 months. “Yes, for sure we are very excited by all this. We worked very hard on this music and to get the acceptance we have gotten is unbelievably rewarding.” I ask if there is anywhere in their travels that took them by surprise. “Atlanta, definitely. The audience was crazy down there and the show was sold out. We were completely taken aback. It was great.”
This tour keeps Local Natives on the road for at least the rest of the year. They play west to east and then a number of dates overseas where they have also found a home. Opening for them on this tour are, Ruby Suns, recent friends whose music they like a lot . And also, The Union Line, who are old friends from Orange County where the band started. “We used to play a lot of the same small clubs with The Union Line and it’s great to be bringing them on tour with us”, said Matt. Catch Local Natives at The Troc on October 27th.