The Naked and Famous
November 10th, 2016 at the Royale Nightclub
By: Emily Grinberg
Two days after the presidential election results were announced, The Royale was packed with audience members primed to let loose. The crowd was ready to blow off some steam and dance the night away to The Naked And Famous.
The show started off with The Chain Gang of 1974, an indie electronic band from Los Angeles, California. In between his dorky dance moves and unpolished vocals, front man Kamtin Mohager declared, “We’re here to enjoy our lives and be happy.” Afterward, brother-sister duo XYLØ made sure they played one of their hit songs entitled “America,” that includes lyrics that say “we can’t stay in America, you can be free in America.” A few songs prior to singing that poignant track, the crowd went wild when they announced they were going to perform “Setting Fires,” a collaboration with the Chainsmokers, live for the first time. When it was over, singer Paige Duddy couldn’t contain her excitement and let out a “We did it! Thank you so much!”
After a long two hours of listening to the openers and waiting around for the crew to break down sets, Royale went pitch black with just a white flashing light on the stage. It was time for The Naked And Famous to come on. A prolonged introduction to “Water Beneath You” began to play. One by one, silhouettes of the band members walked out on stage and lead singer Alisa Xayalith exploded into the lyrics. Before I knew it, the entire venue was ignited by an energetic flame fueled by an intricate lighting system, electronic synthesizers, and dream-pop sounds. TNAF had a packed set list full of all their hits such as “Higher,” “Punching In A Dream” and “The Runners”. Hypnotized by the band’s vocals and bright blue, red, and purple lights, I felt as if I had time traveled back to a club in the nineteen-eighties.
The upbeat, lively mood slowed down as the band played “No Way,” a song off of their first studio album. The crowd sang along with the repetitive, yet dreamy lyrics. Alisa showcased her vocal range in the following track, “Laid Low”. You could easily hear the fire in her voice, especially when she sang the memorable line, “I’m learning to live with ghosts.”
It’s no surprise that The Naked And Famous also made a point to allude to the election like both openers had. Before the last few songs, Alisa Xayalith passionately exclaimed, “Music is an amazing thing in times of need…it brings joy and love and peace and I think it’s what you need right now” After closing with their most popular song, “Young Blood,” the crowd wanted more. They came back on stage and played “Rotten” for their encore, a mellow tune with a catchy rhythm.
One thing is certain, The Naked And Famous know how to put on an electric and up-lifting performance. The crowd seemed to really appreciate the night’s positive energy and the bands’ encouraging words. It was evident that America’s foreboding future was not on the crowd’s mind for the few hours they spent at The Royale.