Considered a historic Los Angeles monument, the El Rey Theatre is an energetically-charged Art Deco icon that, since its metamorphoses into live show venue in 1994, has hosted the performances of many burgeoning Los Angeles bands.
With its juxtaposed qualities of Southern Californian cultural relevance and warm intimacy, the El Rey acted as the perfect backdrop for the musical prowess of two Los Angeles-based bands.
The first, KROQ favorite and headliner, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foster the People[/lastfm], reached emphatic international fame almost immediately when they showcased their indie dance-pop for free at The Echo in January of this year. The second, the relatively unknown opening band, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Electric Guest[/lastfm], is already wooing audiences with their electronic-tinged neo-psychedelic soul–even after only a handful of shows to date.
As evidenced by both their first-rate performances at the El Rey last Friday, Foster The People and Electric Guest share more than sonic and geographic similarities; these two bands seem destined to share similar paths of success.
With a shy and unassuming air, when Electric Guest took the stage, the subtle musical magic they were about to create might not have been apparent to a crowd of young, die-hard Foster the People fans.
The creative vision of lead singer, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Asa Taccone[/lastfm], and drummer,[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Matthew Compton[/lastfm], the band is comprised of seasoned musicians who, on the night of the show, maintained an organic dreaminess to their tone while staying musically tight. Producer [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Brian Burton [/lastfm](a/k/a [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Danger Mouse[/lastfm] of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Gnarls Barkley[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Broken Bells[/lastfm] fame) took notice of this talent and is producing Electric Guest’s upcoming album.
However, their potentiality doesn’t exist squarely in just being great musicians. Emotionally speaking, Electric Guest is a very visceral experience. A combination of spirituality-infused storytelling and fluid musical movements of pure soul evoke a sense of sonic sorcery, with songs like “Awake,” “Amber,” and “Under The Gun” burrowing deep into the subconscious.
While this all sounds incredibly intense, Electric Guest managed to diffuse any over-emotionalism with a few melodic, but dance-driven ’60s-esque joints like “This Head I Hold” and “Waves.” Taccone acts as a darkly alluring nucleus to the magnetic energy of Electric Guest. With an onstage energy reminiscent of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Prince[/lastfm], Taccone’s boyish face never loses a sense of ecstatical passion, vacillating between introspective brooding and illuminating charm.