The vibe was fun and relaxed when I strolled into The Fonda Theatre by my lonesome dressed in all black and and ready to see Django Django for the first time. Being in a not-so-stellar mood after getting pulled over on my way to the show, my mood automatically changed with my atmosphere and I got settled in. My editor made it clear it was important to see Night Moves play prior to Django squared and that plan was almost thwarted by the aforementioned 5-0.
I was impressed by the four piece openers off the bat. Their soft spoken yet strong presence had an impact. I heard mixed emotions from the concert goers around me, which I took as pretentiousness or audio ignorance. Hailing from Minneapolis, Night Moves sound is down to earth, soulful, with a Woodstock emotional tinge that hits the eardrums ever so slightly and puts the listener at ease. It’s music to sway to and simply enjoy, reminiscent of a band like Fleet Foxes. Their album Colored Emotions is available for download now and I’ve heard they’ll be touring with Polica this April which I’ll keep you updated on.
Now, Django Django. I had no idea what to expect and this was a first for me. I’m usually pretty well versed in the artists I’m going to see. The element of surprise ended up being a positive in this case. I didn’t end up over analyzing the music beforehand nor did I try to figure them out before I got to see them live. My first and honest reaction was that they reminded me of the Beach Boys in a way. English, quirky, reggae influenced Beach Boys. They were dressed the same like their mom thought the quadruplets thing was still in fashion which came across as ironic and their energy was undeniable. The lighting and flashing images behind them were visually stunning and complimented their set gorgeously.
The mixture of instruments combined in a way that clearly represented exotic African rock with a touch of reggae and rock. Such a musical blend I’ve never really encountered previous to this past Saturday. Their vibe and style were distinct and intentional. The guitars, heavy synth, strong drums and loud cymbals mixed with the pronounced reverb for a total body high. I miss the days when you could feel a live show in your chest and the bass literally moved you. Django Django was able to accomplish that in addition to keeping you moving. The head bobbing and shifting of dancing feet was continuous for their hour long set.
The ambient vocals and upbeat sound made for a very optimistic and feel good experience that I count myself lucky to have gotten to witness. The crowd was evident of this as well. My fellow concert goers were unusually kind, polite, and friendly for Los Angeles which was a breath of fresh air. If you have the chance to check out these rockabilly pioneers, do so and let us know how it moves you. Stay tuned for updates on Django Django and Night Moves, and peep the set list below.
- Hail Bop
- Love’s Dart
- Hand of Man
- Skies Over Cairo
- Life’s a Beach
- Silver Rays