Concert Review: The Hundred In The Hands at The Echo (Los Angeles, CA)

The Hundred In The Hands (Brooklyn, NY)
June 27th, 2012
The Echo in Los Angeles, CA

The Hundred In The Hands is an up and coming NYC duo with synth pop and post-punk roots. Eleanore Everdell and Jason Friedman met through a mutual friend, and bonded over their eclectic, yet similar taste in music back in 2007. They released their first single “Dressed In Dresden” only a year later along with an EP.  Their debut, self-titled album was released on September 20, 2010, and it was their second single “Pigeon” that quickly gained them popularity after appearing on Gossip Girl in late 2011. Their sophomore album Red Night was released on June 11, 2012 to mixed reviews.

I had no idea what to expect from The Hundred In The Hands live performance. When I arrived at The Echo, the crowd was sparse, with the majority standing around outside. It didn’t look promising. However, by the time sound check started, the room was packed. The second their set began, the crowd was drawn in. The lights stayed dim, and it was rare to actually catch a real glimpse of Friedman’s face as he stayed hidden on the side of the stage. Everdell’s voice rang out through the room at just the perfect pitch to cause goosebumps while she harmonized with her keys. They played older songs like “Young Aren’t Young” and of course “Pigeons”, and the crowd danced and sang right along with them. Then, any doubts that I had about Red Night disappeared as they played their newer songs. I realized that their albums just do not do them justice.

The Hundred In The Hands is one of those few bands that actually sounds better live. Their stage presence is understated and charming, as Everdell prances around completely barefoot, without ever falling off pitch. Friedman is cool and mysterious, effortlessly connecting with the crowd without even having a mic. Together, they create a dynamic of their own. Their music came to life for me in a way that it never had before while listening to their albums. The way that I could feel the desperate words of “Stay The Night” as Everdell delivered them without flaw, was captivating. My favorite part of their set was “Red Night” as their encore. On the album, this song is familiar and a bit monotonous, the music is dull, and the vocal layering is sloppy. What I heard was a bass-heavy, angst-ridden song, with mesmerizing harmonies, and incredible vocal layering. After that, I’m sold.

Thoughts?