Local Natives brought their Spiral Choir Tour to Orange County this past Thursday, playing their first hometown show in 10 years. The band has seen worldwide success since the founding three members got together in Orange County’s own Tesoro High School around 2005. The show was, of course, sold out, and the crowd was clearly overjoyed to see Local Natives again, singing along to every song, whether it was from their most recent album, Violet Street, or from deeper in their catalogue. The band opened with the soft, airy, harmonic “Vogue,” followed by the completely opposite, thumping, “Sun Hands” from their debut album, Gorilla Manor. As is tradition with “Sun Hands” (at least the two other times I’d seen Local Natives) lead vocalist and guitarist, Taylor Rice, climbed up onto the barricade and jumped into the crowd just as the songs broke into a crescendo of guitar, drums, and the shouted chorus. Later on in the set, as an intro to “Fountain of Youth,” Rice mentioned that they had set up a place in the venue where you could register to vote, which made it that much more powerful when every single person in the venue chanted along to the chorus of “We can do whatever we want, We can say whatever we mean.” Local Natives wrapped up their set with “When Am I Gonna Lose You,” the first single off Violet Street, followed by a three song encore.
Australian indie rock band, Middle Kids, have been supporting Local Natives throughout their North American tour. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Hannah Joy, mentioned that it was the band’s first time playing in Orange County, and the crowd welcomed them with open arms. Middle Kids opened with “Never Start,” followed by “Salt Eyes,” off their recently released EP, New Songs For Old Problems, giving the crowd a taste of Joy’s warm vocals and the band’s dynamic guitar sound. The energy picked up during their performance of “Edge of Town” in the middle of their set and carried through to their final song, “Mistake,” Joy jumping around as she sang each captivating chorus, encouraging audience members to join her.