I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a magical November 11th than catching Baltimore’s Wildhoney, Tokyo’s Envy, and Grand Rapid’s La Dispute put on a clinic of a show at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Though Wildhoney got off to a dark start (literally, there were zero house lights on for a few minutes of their performance) they set the ambience perfectly to their shoe-gazey tunes. By the time their lights came on they had already won the crowd over. I can’t wait to catch the band again at San Diego Music Thing this weekend.
Watching Envy’s performance was to put it simply breathtaking. These guys ooze passion from their pores and though I had no idea what the lyrics meant you could interpret meaning from frontman Tetsuya Fukagawa’s face and motions. Their music was powerful, keeping the crowd entranced throughout their set. It was hard to avert your gaze while something so good was happening. If Envy ever hit the states again do yourself a favor and catch the band live.
Finally the band of the night hit the stage to a roaring crowd. Almost the instant the first notes of “A Departure” sounded off the crowd surfers came over the barricade. The action was constant and The Observatory’s security kept me on one side of the barricade. Luckily La Dispute is a whirlwind of action. Frontman Jordan Dreyer is the master of covering ground. He was all over the place so much so that he ended up halfway with a 15 ft. mic chord that initially was 30 ft. The crowd was full of energy and the band took it and ran with it as usual. After all there’s never a boring moment at a La Dispute show. The band’s sound was flawless and it sounded even better at the tune of everyone in attendance. By now, if you haven’t gotten yourself to a La Dispute show, you’re absolutely dropping the ball.