Terminal 5’s birthday was celebrated with the explosive electro pop of New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous, themselves riding the momentum behind their latest album In Rolling Waves. Orange County openers The Colourist, who gave hints of a more pop The Joy Formidable, successfully showcased their EP Lido. While there’s not too much music out at the moment, the setup quickly drew the attention to drummer Maya Tuttle and kept it glued to the alternative pop, near pop punk notably of “Little Games.” Tight, enjoyable, they’re one to follow in the coming year.
The Naked and Famous came next, delving into the In Rolling Waves opener “A Stillness.” Loose acoustic enveloped swirling synth, it started the evening with a stripped sound. This didn’t last long, even as the crowd used these minutes to warm their muscles to Alisa Xayalith’s impressively restrained yet burstful voice as it soared to, “Still, still, be still.” The audience, despite any iron willpower, could do so as it expanded into “Hearts Like Ours.” Terminal 5’s multiple balconies were seemingly the only thing that could contain Alisa’s voice as Thom Powers fortified with on guitar.
The set was near evenly split between In Rolling Waves and Passive Me, Aggressive You. “Rolling Waves” phenomenally built, layer added upon layer, without becoming overwhelming; the benefit of performing in Terminal 5. While “All of This” grew into a personal favorite, guiding everyone into a dancing hypnotic lull before Thom Powers crashed the party, shifting into an overdrive only the old Memorex “blown away by speakers” cassette commercials could possibly compare to. “Punching in a Dream” was naturally the only follow-up worthy, sweeping underneath everyone and carrying the packed public into a synthpop flurry.
“To Move With Purpose” and “Young Blood” closed the evening as the encore. The slow before the quick. When the opening notes of “Young Blood” echoed through ear drums and off balcony railings, an enormous relief washed through the birthday venue. Despite being a few years old itself, those hands in the air, the nonstop dancing, the carefree energy showed no signs of The Naked and Famous fading away with In Rolling Waves.
Hearts Like Ours
Girls Like You
I Kill Giants
All of This
Punching in a Dream
What We Want
To Move With Purpose