Los Campesinos

Los Campesinos! Live @ Electric Owl, Vancouver, Canada. 3/02/12.

Cardiff based indie popsters Los Campesinos! made a quick stop in Vancouver Friday night to play a sold out show at the latest addition to the popular downtown east side venues; the Electric Owl. The band played an early show without any support as their usual tour support the Parenthetical Girls had prior engagements – so by 8pm the place was packed.

The group of seven opened with the first single from their latest album “By Your Hand” the infectious chorus and unique lyrics really got the crowd going. This was followed with the title track from the previous album; “Romance is Boring”, another crowd pleaser that stirred up a lively audience. As the performance progressed it became apparent how tightly knit Los Campesinos! are, their shared artistic direction and energy really shines onstage.

The band dedicated an old favorite “You! Me! Dancing!” to Abbotsford band/their pals You Say Party, We Say Die, who had tweeted about their appearance at the show a little earlier in the night. The crowd’s reaction was just as excitable for the 2007 release as tracks from the new album, demonstrating that the early fans are sticking around for more.

From the latest release Hello Sadness, Los Campesinos! played the hypnotic “To Tundra”, and the emotionally charged “The Black Bird, The Dark Slope” in which Kim joins in for lead vocals. She also picked up the flute later on in the performance. The band’s multi-instrumentalism and solid performance on stage reminded me a little of The Arcade Fire – a comparison they have no doubt heard before.

Gareth ended the set with a sincere announcement “Thanks for having us, you’ve been dead nice…we always have a good time in Vancouver”. He hung his mic over a cord hanging across the stage for the encore, just high enough so he could look up to it and sing into from below, the band members threw themselves into the closing song as he jumped out into the crowd.

After the set was done and some of the crowd had cleared out, band members came out to say “hi”, sign merch and pose for photos proving that despite their appearance on the Letterman show and steady rise in popularity, they are still a collection of lovely, down to earth twenty somethings. Basically, if you could join a band, you would want to join Los Campesinos!

Reviewed by Heather Welsh.


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