“BACK FOR ME” AND BACK FOR MORE
After five long years, LA-based band Electric Guest are back on tour, promoting their most recent release, Plural, which has finally dropped following their 2012 debut, Mondo. The band is the first to acknowledge their long absence–the descriptions of their various social media accounts include the phrase “We’re baaaaccck”–yet their sold-out show on 5 March at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom showed that fans certainly harbor no ill-will.
Around 10:30, fans nearly lost it as Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton took the stage. The crowd’s (loud) response became clearly justified to me throughout the show: not only can Electric Guest perform live even better than on their already fantastic records, but Taccone is so likable, he may as well have created the concept of the “frontman” himself. He entertained the crowd in between songs by calling out some hooligan with, “Somebody’s smoking weed!” and told stories of experiences in different cities on tour. On New York City, Taccone regaled,
“Today at soundcheck I was on the corner; I was just watching New York streets. I was like, ‘Damn, does New York have the grit it used to?’ Then this guy walks up to me and says, ‘Do you want some crack?’
I’m serious, I was like, ‘No, I’m good,’ then he said, ‘…Do you want some DVDs?’ and I said, ‘…What do you have?’ This buhl said, ‘Rush Hour 2.’ I asked if he had Rush Hour 1, he looked at me and said, “No, man!” I mean, what is this, 1996?
In an example of skillful diversion in an awkward situation, Taccone graciously played off a fan’s attempt to get on the stage after “This Head I Hold” by telling her to hold off, and he’d call her up “when the vibe is right.” What’s more, the endearingly modest Taccone remarked that “being on tour is such a humbling and unique experience,” and how he especially enjoys seeing such great diversity in the crowd at each show. If you didn’t have a crush on Taccone before seeing him perform, you would definitely develop one after.
The setlist included a healthy variety of songs from both albums. My personal favorites were “Bound to Lose,” “This Head I Hold,” and “Oh Devil.” While Taccone’s falsetto tones were certainly a standout part of the performance, I must acknowledge the accompanying bass, drums, and piano as consistently solid. Also, shout-out to the Bowery Ballroom’s Lighting Designer Katherine Borderud for a noticeably impressive design that truly augmented the concert experience.
Look for our upcoming coverage on SXSW, where Electric Guest will perform among other incredible bands.