Echo Park, CA- After their well received 2012, second full length album “Threads”, the indie rock band Now, Now, kept a bit of a low profile. They did, however, keep up with their fans on social media while continuously promising that new music was being worked on, and in early May 2017, after a long wait, the band wiped all of their posts from their Facebook and Twitter accounts, followed by the announcement of a new single tilted “SGL” which was then shortly followed with the announcement of full US tour, with the second to last date scheduled for The Echo in Los Angeles.
Keeping true to their beautifully heartbreaking sound, the band kicked off the set with “The Pull”, the intro track to Threads, which transitioned perfectly into it’s second track “Prehistoric”. During the third song (“Wolf”, a personal favorite of mine) Danny O’ Brian (guitar) broke a string on his guitar. “That’s pretty badass,” KC said jokingly as Danny switched guitars once the song was over, “That never happens during our sets”.
The rest of the set felt a bit like a five year anniversary party for Threads as they only seemed to play songs off that record (while also sprinkling in their long awaited new material) but I certainly wasn’t complaining as it was one of my favorite albums from that year.
KC channels a raw, visceral energy as she plays. Even though most of the songs can be rather heart wrenching and introspective, she always seems to rock out while performing and you can definitely see that energy rub off on her band mates. She would frequently turn to them and have these moments where they would sync up and jam as hard as they could to these songs whose lyrics are the antithesis of the smiles that they portrayed.
There were some small technical setbacks though. After they played their new song “AZ” there was a brief pause while Bradley Hale (drums) was fiddling with the laptop next to his drum kit. “Something always with the keyboard on this song” said KC with a bit of a nervous chuckle. “This has happened on the past three or four shows on this tour.” A few minutes went by while KC interacted and joked with the eager crowd. Even though the hiccup was a rather long one, the audience didn’t really seem to mind as they began cheering for brad while he was restarting the laptop that controls the setting on KC’s keyboard. “It wouldn’t be a Now, Now show if something didn’t go wrong” said Brad.
“We’re trying to fly through our set because we’re trying to play as many songs for you as we can because we have a very strict curfew with our time here” Said KC before beginning the next song. “So we’re actually going to have to skip one”. Out of curiosity I shouted out from the crowd “Which one?”. KC replied “shifting” (which was met with several disappointed groans from the audience). “Normally we’d walk off stage then come out for an encore, but we don’t actually have time for that right now so I’m just going to do this now” Said KC before starting a solo acoustic performance of “Dead Oaks” which was met with the crowd singing along at a volume that was just about as loud as the amplified one.
Now, Now is just one of those bands you listen to when going through emotional distress. This performance, five years in the making, just really made me relive feelings from my past and it seemed everyone in the audience was right there with me. The swaying, the faces I saw with the crowd, even people hitting the upper harmonies that Jess Abott left behind to focus on her solo project Tancred, set the perfect atmosphere for Now, Now’s return.
And while their live set still stays true to those melancholy emotions from Threads, the new material flows perfectly with the rest of the older tracks despite having a bit more of a pop, radio friendly sound to them. While I’ve only heard the two unreleased they played live and the new single “SGL”, I can tell that the yet to be released album will have a lighter, more dance friendly, tone compared to the somber sounds of their last release. I can’t wait to see if I’m right.
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