This past week, Southern California’s been through a little bit of a Canadian invasion. Synthpop singer, Lights played a sold out show at the Fonda Theatre earlier in the week while garage-rock/dance-punk duo Death From Above 1979, along with Toronto’s very own Biblical, tore down The Observatory in Santa Ana Thursday night.
To kick off the night Biblical played a captivating set with material from their latest release, Monsoon Season. Heavy and loud, the quartet produced a strange but infectious blend of psychedelic and hard rock. Certainly pros at owning the stage, guitarist Matt Mclaren utilized his diverse pedal board throughout the set while frontman, Nick Sewell (and his long locks) were jumping all over the place. Making new fans out of a room filled with DFA junkies, I’m sure Biblical will be back in the states soon.
After much anticipation, headliners Death From Above 1979 came out to a crowd of roaring fans. A pretty calm room thrown into a frenzy as the duo opened with “Turn It Out.” With Sebastien Grainger on drums and vocals alongside Jesse F. Keeler on bass and synth, the chemistry on stage spread to the fans. An overall communal experience consisting of loud music, funny stage banter, and excitement, fans were going crazy, moshing and crowd-surfing to each track. The stage itself was illuminated by a few overhead spotlights and an installation of their iconic two-face emblem.
As the night progressed, the crowd did anything but settle. Track after track, the setlist was a perfect blend of old material and new music off of the duo’s latest album, their first full-length since ’04, The Physical World. The energy was just as intense in the second half of the show with songs like “Gemini” and “Going Steady” as well as fan favorites “Little Girl” and “Trainwreck 1979.” Coming back for an encore, the punk-rockers closed with the beloved “Romantic Rights” and the epic title track, “The Physical World.”
It’s rumored that Death From Above may be playing Coachella come next spring, while we may be seeing our friends in Biblical at next year’s SXSW. Whatever the circumstances, we can’t wait until these two bands come back to the U.S.