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Holiday Friends At The Henry Fonda Theater, Saturday July 7th 2012

One of the nice surprise at this Blind Pilot’s show at the Henry Fonda on Saturday, was the opening band, Holiday Friends, a joyous group who got a lot of high-fives and ‘you were awesome’ when some of the members split the crowd after their set.


Much like Blind Pilot, the interesting bunch focused on nice multi-voice harmonies and used a lot of instruments, even switching from one to another during a song, as they were surrounded on stage by many guitars, an old fashioned upright bass, several keyboards/synths, and had included in their engaging tunes an extra use of banjo and a light drumming by a guy who was wearing some bright fluo-green shorts combined with a sort of Luke-Wilson-in-the-Royal-Tenebaums look.


Their songs were as much fun as diverse, with Fleet-Foxes-on-dopamine harmonies assured by most of them, Jesse Wityczak, Scott Fagerland, Jon Fagerland and Zack O'Connor, a touch of Vampire Weekend here and there without the heavy African music influence (if this makes sense), even some Brian Wilson-esque weirdness with more adventures in the mix, and I am sure someone else would name a few other bands.

It was a good choice for a band which was opening for Blind Pilot, and the young crowd reacted with enthusiasm to their upbeat and catchy rhythms, even clapping along a few times,… what is the deal with all that clapping anyway?


‘First time in LA’ said one of them mid-set, but probably not the last time I thought while looking how they were received, The band from Idaho turned Oregonian had a few more bouncy, explosive, multi-influenced tunes, and that was it, way too soon!


They have self-released an album ‘Chicks’, available on their bandcamp page, and if you listen to the first track ‘Plastic Planets’ you could think the song goes through a Shins-Arcade-Fire-Fleet-Foxes-Vampire-Weekend metamorphosis during the first minutes (or may be it is just my wild imagination) without having being possibly created by any of these bands. Now, it becomes more and more difficult for new bands to have a sound without being compared to tons of others, but this happy group seems to be onto something.

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