Echoes of The Drums: The Joyful Melancholy of their Live Performance in LA REVIEW+PHOTOS: The Drums & Cold Hart at The Shrine 7/14/23
LOS ANGELES, CA- The euphoria of being in the throbbing heart of a Drums’ concert is as invigorating as a heady shot of adrenaline. As the lights dimmed on the Shrine Auditorium on July 14th, 2023, it was with a sense of palpable anticipation, a trembling joy that only The Drums’ music could instigate. The New York band’s perennially sunny surf-rock melodies that play on a loop in your brain, wedded with brooding lyrics, have always had a knack of evoking such complex emotional landscapes.
The night began with Cold Hart, the Californian emo-rapper taking the stage as the opener. I was previously unfamiliar with Cold Hart’s music, but I had the pleasure of being introduced to an innovative and heartfelt fusion of emo and rap. Cold Hart’s artful blending of pensive lyrics and catchy melodies was intriguing, and though unexpected, it was a delightful revelation. Despite his moody themes, the music bore an infectious rhythm that compelled the body to sway along.
Born Jerick “Jay” Quilisadio, Cold Hart has been in the music industry since 2013. Over the past decade, he’s created a unique emo-rap sound, collaborating with artists like Lil Peep and Horse Head through the collective GothBoiClique. His music, with its layers of introspective lyrics over guitar-laden trap beats, attracted a cult following within the SoundCloud rap community and beyond.
The Drums need no introduction. Since their formation in 2008, the indie pop-rockers have been constantly evolving. From their infectious hit single “Let’s Go Surfing” to the pensive, introspective “Days”, the band has consistently demonstrated their musical prowess and artistry. Frontman Jonny Pierce’s expressive voice, combined with his deeply personal songwriting, has helped The Drums carve out a significant niche within the indie music landscape.
The city of Los Angeles holds an intense affection for The Drums. Their sold-out concert was a testament to this love affair. The band performed an exquisite set of their greatest hits. The audience sang along to familiar tunes like “What You Were”, “Book of Revelation”, and newer releases like “Better”. The main set concluded with the crowd-favourite “Money”, sending waves of frenzied satisfaction through the audience. The encore performance included fresh tracks like “Plastic Envelope” and “Obvious”, hinting that the dawn of a new epoch in The Drums’ musical journey was on the horizon.
There’s something surreal about The Drums’ concerts, akin to an out-of-body experience. Their music, a concoction of bright melodies mixed with dark undertones, explores the depths of human emotions, touching on themes of love, loss, and longing. The songs often carry a melancholic undertone, yet the juxtaposition of their joyful, sunny melodies often leaves you humming their tunes days after the concert. This ability to create a bond with their audience, to evoke joy amidst melancholy, is what sets The Drums apart.
As the last notes faded and the crowd trickled out, I found myself wearing a wide grin, my heart lighter. Despite their dark, moody themes, there’s a certain buoyancy that persists in The Drums’ music, a spark that persists even after the concert ends. And it’s this spark, this lingering sense of joy and connection, that I carry with me after every performance.
The concert was a triumphant celebration of The Drums’ enduring appeal, an unforgettable night filled with the joy, melancholy, and the insatiable thrill that their music brings. The city of Los Angeles will be waiting eagerly for their next chapter. But until then, we have their infectious melodies and brooding lyrics to keep us company, a testament to their unique talent and the powerful bond they have with their fans.