October 30, 2012

Review: Two Door Cinema Club / Friends / St. Lucia @ Hollywood Palladium, CA. 10/25/12

Two Door Cinema Club descended on the Palladium in Hollywood last Thursday night, October 25th, with support coming from Friends and St. Lucia. The all ages crowd proved nothing short of just that, an uber youthful core that energized the venue throughout the night, and who were clearly more in touch with some sort of ‘rockshow ESP’ than their older and late arriving counterparts. Ageist irony hit it’s high when Darude’s “Sandstorm” spun through the house speakers before Two Door Cinema Club took stage. The track, clearly meant to be background music, elevated the crowd of iGens to another level, teleporting the Palladium into a celebratory Trance gathering for the next five minutes. The venue raved to this near 15 years old EDM classic offering one of the biggest responses to any song of the evening… including from any of the bands. The look of bewilderment on the faces of anybody over age 25 was pretty timeless, as they raced to remember what was so cool about a song that they used to jam with in high school.

Darude – Sandstorm

NYC based and Neon Gold collective St. Lucia opened the evening. The five piece rock ensemble traded-off dueling synths and guitars throughout the set. Their blend was pop friendly, with an indie-movement inspired new wave of synth rock that’s pretty irresistible. The band’s uptempo quirky nature and occasional Temper Trap caliber melody (ideal for the evening’s Glassnote headlined bill) was sprinkled throughout the set with tambourine and glitzy synth. On the more obscure pop side of things, moments felt akin to the sentiment of Talking Heads and even Peter Gabriel. Most notably the band seemed to revel in their commercial potential, being perfectly viable to such a large room showcasing their festival ready performance with plenty of energy and crowd interaction.

Photo By Russ Ramos

NYC neighbors to St. Lucia, and Brooklynites, the band Friends soon followed. On the more abstract pop side of things, Friends know their way up, down, and all around dirty disco injected tunes. With heavier lyrical content rooted in philosophies that explore conspiracies and even open relationships, Friends have a little something for everyone, and definitely know how to play to their advantages. For one, if the music doesn’t happen to be your style, then at the very least you’re sure to be entertained by the cross dressing, and progressive party that’s happening on the stage in front of you. When singer Samantha Urbani wasn’t launching herself into the heart of the dance party, with the audience in front of her, she was engaging Friends’ vocally passionate fans between songs, “everybody here, we’re all friends” she proclaimed at one point. Indeed. The band’s music is rhythmic and a minimal nature, highlighted with the hook latent bass work of Lesley Hann. Her delectable bass lines can’t help but draw your hips in to their seductive grooves, as Friends counters the excitement with fashionable jungle drumming, triangle chimes, catchy vocals and more. Friends live presence was loaded with retro nostalgia, and included recording live with a VHS video camera during their hit track, “Mind Control”. Friends’ set consisted mostly of material from the band’s recent and debut studio album, Manifest!, and it set the tone nicely for the party that was yet to come.

Photo By Russ Ramos

Who would have thought that the young Irish lads we shared with you in 2009 would be headlining major venues, festivals and tours throughout the world just a few years later? It’s pretty incredible to trace back through the career of Two Door Cinema Club, but what’s even more incredible is where they stand today. With two studio albums now under their belt, they belong to a small collection of bands able to claim critical and commercial success on both their debut album and sophomore follow up. The crowd at the Hollywood Palladium that night were well of aware of this fact. Two Door Cinema Club’s near hour and a half long set was a fans delight. People responded to fresh songs such as “Sleep Alone” and “Sun” from Two Door’s new album Beacon, as much as they did to the band’s Tourist History debut release.

It was somewhat telling how Two Door Cinema Club had been on the road these last few years, back and forth across the pond, and how they continue to thrive on the growth from such experiences together as a band. Two Door Cinema Club were dialed-in and they tore the roof off the Hollywood Palladium that night, as if proving their headliner status for the years to come. The band’s stage production helped, most importantly too was an additional musician on stage who helped the trio fill in some of those parts that had earlier fallen to backing tracks. Transitions were seamless for Two Door Cinema Club, with little conversation between songs, they held the audience in their hands, stomping their way the through their set of signature high BPM induced melodic pop. Frontman Alex Trimble entertained and engaged the crowd with an authentic nature, and in fact the entire band seemed delighted by the response they’d recieved that night. Trimble at one point asked people to sing along, “I want you with me”, on “The World is Watching”, they obliged. An explosive performance of “What You Know” concluded the band’s encore set of three songs. Ending on high that was hard to come down from. Possible explaining why half audience stuck arround the venue and continued to dance as the house lights and speakers came on. Until the man served up the ole ‘you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here’.

Header Photo By Russ Ramos

Two Door Cinema Club – The World Is Watching

Two Door Cinema Club (Facebook)

Photo By Russ Ramos

Photo By Russ Ramos

Rating 9.0

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