Monday, August 10, 2009
Elefant at the Henry Fonda Theater
Elefant? Really? How many years has it been since I last saw them? I remember seeing them twice. I caught Elefant at the Wiltern when they opened for Morrissey and at the Henry Fonda Theater for a co-headlining tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
I was under the impression that they had broken up since Diego Garcia (Vocals) had started his own Myspace music page and posted a few solo tracks. Maybe Elefant was embroiled in some record label legalities or they were on an extended hiatus? I thought headlining a show at the Henry Fonda after an absence of a few years was a little overzealous but liked them enough to see what they had to offer.
Love Grenades were determined to make your heart explode with their sultry electronic dance pop numbers. Elizabeth Wight (Vocals) was the focal point of their energetic set with her flowing dress and occasional microphone chord tosses.
Love Grenades have already released an EP Tigers in The Fire and are in the studio with Sam Sparro working an a full length album that is tentatively scheduled for November. The mix at the Henry Fonda was a little heavy on the bass but crowd was very receptive to their set. I will probably check them out again at a smaller venue to form a better opinion.
The familiar beat of "Make Up" energized the fervent crowd in the front of the Henry Fonda as the number of camera flashes behind me was impressive. Diego Garcia (Vocals) sauntered out and gave a quick wave before channeling some of Morrissey's stage mannerisms.
My expectations were not that high seeing that the band has been dormant for about 3 years. The last show I saw at the Henry Fonda in 2006 was near the end of their tour and the band was razor sharp. Diego still had his characteristic croon during "Tonight Let's Dance" but later would point the microphone out to the crowd during the closing moments of the show possibly indicating his voice was waning.
Mod (Guitars) was all over his Fender Jazzmaster filling in the spaces not occupied by the thundering bass of Jeff Berrall (Bass). I didn't have my usual earplugs which could explain that I still found the mix to be bass heavy with Diego's vocals slightly buried.
The new songs "Cereal" and "Olio" sounded alright but probably could use a little more aural sheen. Elefant caught me off guard by playing "Eleanor" which was featured as a bonus track from their earlier album. "Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid" was the highlight of the evening with Mod cranking out the guitar parts.
"Misfit" was the crowd favorite and right choice to close out the night as everyone in the front row seemed to magically pull out their digital cameras at the same time to video the whole song. It was also worth noting that even few folks in the balcony were dancing along for most of the encore.
Their performance overall was spotty at some times but impressive given that they have been away from the scene for so long. I did spot Diego smile a few times during the evening which to me indicated that he was as pleasantly surprised at the turn out as I was. My main question is will Elefant recapture the buzz they had before their hiatus?