Last night former Seattle (now LA) band La Luz drew hoards of people (a surprising number donning Hawaiian shirts) to Mississippi Studios for one of the most crowded shows I've ever seen at the venue. Opening act Sick Sad World takes their name from the surreal gossip-news TV show on Daria. The power-pop four-piece just released a new tape, Blews, but their catchy set primarily consisted of material from their 2015 record Fear and Lies. The band definitely doesn't try to hide their influences, which sound like they range from Big Star to Descendants.
La Luz mostly played songs from last year's Ty Segall-produced Weirdo Shrine, a magnificently macabre "surf noir" record. Shortly after releasing their debut full-length It's Alive in 2013 the four-piece was involved in a serious crash on their way back to Seattle after playing a show in Boise. Thankfully they were all ok, but the near-death experience's lasting effects are vividly palpable on Weirdo Shrine. The album feels haunted by this keen awareness of mortality—it's characterized by somber organ and surf riffs, but also by an eerie stillness that makes your stomach sink between notes. Despite having been on tour for over a month, last night La Luz deftly executed this captivating tenseness. Their melodies slowly build on Lena Simon's fat and supple baselines, Alice Sandahl's ominously hypnotizing organs, and Marian Li Pino's intricate drumming before Shana Cleveland cuts through with guitar riffs that'd make Dick Dale fall off his surfboard.
See more photos after the jump!
SICK SAD WORLD