The best word to describe Tuesday’s lineup at the Fonda Theatre would be smooth. Beginning with Kevin Morby, the bassist of band Woods who had just released his debut LP a few months ago called Harlem River, the intimate tone of the night was set. He presented the audience with his brand of understated and minimalist indie rock with a soothing voice that could’ve come straight from the 60s.
Next up was Vancouver band The Shilohs who played some lighthearted and wholesome indie pop music that also had that tinge of retro like Morby’s. Three members swapped singing duties in several tracks, which was nice and kept the set fresh as they each offered something a little different. They expressed sadness about ending this long tour they’ve been on, but also feel grateful for the experience. Sidenote: Frontman Johnny Payne seriously looked like a more properly groomed version of Phoenix’s Thomas Mars.
Real Estate went on stage a little over half an hour later to excited applause from audience members. Their new record Atlas not only reassured long time fans of the band, but also changed the hearts of some disbelievers who weren’t completely sold by 2011’s Days, myself included. The new record is great, showing a more developed sound, and they played plenty of it. They displayed a level of comfort on stage that implied they knew exactly what they were doing and that they were having a lot of fun with it. Alex Bleeker seemed like he had the most fun though as he laughed and smiled at audiences who came out to support. They noted how mellow the audience was at one point, but I think they were just very attentive and relaxed, comfortable in the familiar chill that their music brings. I don’t know what it is, but the band just had this air that made them like the kind of people you’d want to sit down with and talk to about the most random things in the world. They probably wouldn’t like that though.