Live 105‘s Not So Silent Night is over! Oh my goodness, thank you for all who watched on our webcast and all who showed up to jam out (can you find yourself in the photo above? Ha ha just kidding that’s impossible). If you want to see the best moments from Day 1, head over here, otherwise read on to hear the best moments of Day 2, featuring The Neighbourhood, Alt-J, Lorde, Phoenix and Arcade Fire.
You can also watch replay of last night’s show until 6 p.m. PT today (December 8):
7) The nowness of The Neighbourhood
Five guys from L.A. who formed a band not too long ago have risen to success on the fuel of their now platinum single “Sweater Weather.” Everything with The Neighbourhood is black and white, from the band’s photo riders down to the singer Jesse Rutherford’s two-tone hair, split right down the middle. It occurs to me that The Neighbourhood is so hot right now because they’re fully embracing the melting pot of rap, R&B, and rock. They take themselves very seriously and are primed for world-wide domination, and if they can keep up with the zeitgeist, they could get there.
6) The uber nowness of Lorde covering Kanye West
Lorde reigned over the coliseum, it was just her and her DJ/synth player/programmer on stage with a projection that read “LORDE.” That’s all she needed to hold court over the crowd of thousands. Of course “Royals” and “Team” went down like honey, but her cover of Kanye Wests’ dark “Hold My Liquor” from this year’s Yeezus was ultimate: slinky and dark, just like a song she could write. And lo, the degree of separation between Lorde and Chief Keef is now “one.”
5) The headiness of Alt-J
It’s refreshing to hear some of the odd lines and angles of Alt-J after some more familiar pop songs. They sound like Frank Zappa compared to everything that came before it, a 40 refreshing moment of art pop with the lead singer just wearing a t-shirt. “Matilda” might have been the highlight of the set for me, though maybe the sound of the guitarist doing some tapping with a roll of electric tape is a close second.
4) Phoenix’s ex-hardcore drummer Thomas Hedlund
Note to young synthpop bands trying to stand out from the pack: hire a hardcore drummer. Ex- Cult of Luna drummer Thomas Hedlund was up on the risers carrying Phoenix through their set on his broad shoulders. There was just a new energy to their set, and when I talked to guitarist Christian Mazzalai before the set, he talked about how there is this endless quest to find the perfect setlist. I think Phoenix are in a pretty clutch place right now with Bankrupt! and Wolfgang songs pairing so well, like the classic “Lizstomania” going real easy into the new “SOS In Bel Air.” They don’t even have to close with “1901” anymore, they can close with the older “Rome” like a cinematic epilogue. Which leads me to…
3) Thomas Mars literally swimming through the crowd
Doing the front stroke, on his belly, swimming out to the middle of the floor where he was eventually hoisted up by people.
2) Arcade Fire are just Reflektors, too
I should have seen the disco ball coming, what with the disco infiltrator James Murphy having produced their most daring and grand album yet, Reflektor. And you know I should have seen Win Butler’s “mirror mask” coming too, what with shiny masks at live shows being very in this year. But when the black scrim dropped and the band got going, the mirrors on the fronts of the analog synths, and there was Arcade Fire, all a dozen or so of them, dressed now in ornate and eccentric outfits and locking into the ’70s groove of “Reflektor.” Then they moved into the glam Gary Glitter of “Joan Of Arc.” Then over to the Haitian percussion jam at the end of “Here Comes The Night Time,” or the reggae vibe of “Flashbulb Eyes.” If you thought Arcade Fire were absorbing new sounds into their oeuvre, turns out they were just reflektors. And damn good ones at that.
1) The sing-along to “Wake Up”
The rhythmic, body-moving tracks off Reflektor got the spotlight last night, with only a couple of songs culled from their back catalog (“Power Out”, “Sprawl 2”), but, man, like Kings of Leon last night, there’s just something that doesn’t get old about singing “I guess we’ll just have to adjuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust” with thousands of other little gods causing rain storms turning every good thing to rust.