Saturday, August 31, 2013

Night Riots Take Command at HOB Anaheim

Ok, so, WOW. Talk about a night and day transformation. The last time we reviewed Night Riots was back when they were still called PK, and while they showed lots of potential there were downsides. When they took the stage at HOB Anaheim on Thursday night, it was obvious that they are on the path to fulfilling all that potential. From the moment they walked out on the stage there was a sense of power and command that is lacking from so very many young bands, including those that opened this very show. Night Riots looked, moved, and performed like a very tight unit. Even when something went wrong (no power to the acoustic guitar at the end of the set), Travis made a choice to step away from the microphone and play the first part of the song functionally to the first couple of feet of people, since that was all who could hear him, which was an interestingly bold choice. Travis could have waited for the problem to be resolved, or sang the piece without the guitar, but he chose to do what he could to retain the control and attention of the fans and move the set along. This might be a lesson to every band who has ever made an audience wait through extended pauses or thrown temper tantrums over technical glitches.

Night Riots have done something very smart. Despite not quite being locals (they hail from the San Luis Obispo area) they have been playing Southern California with a noticeable frequency. So many young bands try to obsessively recruit a fan base across the whole country at once that they forget to build a more localized base. By hitting this area with such frequency Night Riots have built a strong, and very vocal, local following who turned out and represented at this show. This is a band that is one hit song away from seeing the kind of blow up success that has embraced Imagine Dragons this year, and we look forward to it.

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