Last night, as part of Neon Gold Record’s Pop Shop west coast campaign, on-the-rise artists Vérité, Gallant, and Air Bag One played a show at Los Angeles’s Echoplex. The 650-capacity venue was sold out and from start to finish (it was a late one) the performance rocked the venue, and as I sit at my desk this Friday morning, drinking bad office coffee, wearing frumpy work clothes, and drooling over my keyboard thinking about work, I can’t help but still smile thinking about last night.
Air Bag One is a French-based pop duo, and I really believe they came on the stage mostly unknown to the audience, and left with a steady Los Angeles following. Putting on a show with some combination of synthetic 80s rock, Beastie Boys-esque riffs and raffs, and smooth, harmonious vocals all across the boards, this synthpop wunderband immediately caught the attention of the waiting audience, and held it until the final chord faded. The kind of music that maybe you and your dad could agree on for a roadtrip, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make further appearances in the US in the upcoming months. With what seems like just a handful more concerts stateside before they do whatever bands do when they’re not performing, I’d catch these guys live soon if you have the chance (and if you need more motivation, ladies (men?), everyone on the stage was ridiculously good-looking, and the accents melted me on the inside).
Gallant came out next, and much like the nature of his currently recorded music, he kept a completely mysterious and impeccable image. From beginning to end, Gallant said zero words to the audience, but for some reason I didn’t notice until the end, or mind at all. Why? Because of the music. Seriously. This guy is so talented, and well-deserving of the recent #1 hit on recent blog charts (Weight in Gold). His voice and lyrics are smooth and sexy, something like a combination of Prince and The Weeknd, and he doesn’t shy away from high falsetto riffs or showy stage dramatics (he was wearing a black suit with a single gold chain… classy). My only complaint about the whole thing is that I don’t feel like I know him any better now than when he started, but it was a stellar performance, and I look forward to seeing Gallant grow and become more public with his music and image.
And to round out the night, Vérité played a set. I think a lot of the internet has been music-crushing on Vérité since the release of her two EPs, including songs Colors and Weekend which skirted the top of the blog charts, and when you pair her music with her killer attitude, you’re really only setting yourself up for success. Her live show adds just an edge of punk to her vocals, and her stage dynamic simply make you happy. No one danced harder to her music than she did, and it was wildly refreshing to see an artist so unapologetically in love with performing, and so candid and alive with the audience. She played no instruments, but seems to have mastered the two-mic gig, and her hair was on absolutely on-point (unrelated to the performance itself but wildly impressive nonetheless). 10/10 recommend everyone to catch Vérité in the small venues while you still can.
And as a side note, in case anyone is keeping track, this show was hosted at The Echoplex, which, contrary to the last review I wrote, was a phenomenal little venue in Los Angeles. About twice the size of its sister-club upstairs, The Echo, The Echoplex is spacious, sprawling, and seems to be air-conditioned. BootieLA and Emo Night LA are both hosted there, and I will be making the biggest effort I can to get out there as soon as I can.