Niantic Celebrate The Release Of Their New EP With Greg In Good Company and Paper Citizen In Hollywood Thoughts+Photos: Niantic at Lucky Strike 1/12/23
LOS ANGELES, CA- Niantic is a Los Angeles based indie/alt rock band and they celebrate the released of their latest EP, Other Desert Cities, with a performance in Hollywood at Lucky Strike. Joining them on the bill were the bands Greg In Good Company, and Paper Citizen.
The first act to take the stage was the band Greg In Good Company. Fronted by Greg Gillman, this band brought a spirited energy to the stage to kick start the night off right. This was my first time hearing their music, but I really enjoyed the blend of rock and roll and Americana. I found Greg to be quite charismatic and his raspy, bellowing voice had my feeling some Springsteen vibes.
The players in his band were particularly good as well. Alexa Brinkschulte (drums ), Alex U’Ren (bass and vocals) Martin Vites (guitar) and Lee (keys and vocals) were great. I particularly loved Greg’s harmonies/interactions with Lee. It really brought that extra bit of life that energized the performance.
I was also really impressed with Greg’s songwriting. I feel like he’s got a real sense of melody, and his transitions from verses into hooks or choruses feels real organic, even when the dynamics of a song changes dramatically. Have a listen to “Carrie’s Song” and I think you’ll catch my drift. I really dig that song, among others.
I can’t lie. I kinda stan Paper Citizen. Ever since I saw, and heard, Claire Ghost perform her song “Heart On Fire” live, I’ve been hooked. My state of stan can be broken down into two parts: (i) she’s Asian, and I’m Asian, and it’s been a minute since I’ve seen a local Asian artist record pop-rock records; and (ii) she writes some really catchy pop-rock records. “Heart On Fire” aside, I’m a big fan of her cuts “Lifeline” and “Indigo September” from her Wandering Ghost EP, and “Distraction” of her EP of the same name.
I’m also really drawn to the timbre of Claire’s voice. There something really earthy about it. It’s a confident vocal that feels like it comfortably rests in a place between her chest and head voice. It’s the kind of voice that just invites you to take your shoes off and scrunch your toes in the grass. Know what I mean?
This was my second time seeing Paper Citizen perform live, and I’m pretty confident that I’ll be heading out to catch another show when they set another one up. You should too.
This was my first experience with Niantic, so I don’t know all to much about them other than they were founded by (per what I was able to find on Bandcamp) Chris McCartt (drums), Alex Stensel (lead guitar, bass) and Ryan Trask (vocals, guitar, bass)…. that, and that they love to have fun on stage.
Their new EP, Other Desert Cities, is a fun listen. It’s art rock that’s part LCD Soundsystem, part Talking Heads and with a sprinkle of Ben Folds Five circa their debut album here and there. Whatever it is, it certainly is a party, and the gent of Niantic brought that party to the stage. Particularly, their lead singer Ryan.
Ryan was as animated as front-men get. I loved the way he used his body to emphasize lyrics he sang, and the way the way he used the entire stage (which is quite large at Lucky Strike). I found him even more charismatic when he wasn’t responsible for rhythm. guitar licks and he was able to venture beyond the monitors and approach the microphone with the mic.
Towards the end of the set, the band invited two guest vocalists to join them on stage (Kat Stevens and Kat Hamilton) and that turned the party vibes nob up to eleven, resulting in a joyous conclusion to a terrifically fun celebration of their new EP.
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