Local Natives at the Fox Theater

Right after L.A. buzz band Local Natives ripped through “Breakers”, the super catchy single from their new album Hummingbird, singer/guitarist Taylor Rice said there were three reasons why their sold-out show at the Fox Theater marked a “big night” for the band: Hummingbird had just come out the day before; it was Local Natives’ first show in Oakland; and it was, Rice said, the biggest show they’d ever played as a band.

It’s not surprising that Local Natives are scaling new heights after the release of Hummingbird, their sophomore album. Take a listen to “Breakers”, for instance (video after the jump), and you’ll see what I mean. The band has the zeitgeist pretty well pegged: Afro-pop-influenced guitar skronk, propulsive beats, and sunny three-part harmonies. They’re like a rootsier Animal Collective, riding the rhythm of their manic two-man percussion section into the Cali sunset.

This is a band for whom the rhythm is paramount. There were frequently three guitars being played onstage, but Local Natives’ sound does not rely on the guitar all that much, using it mainly to punctuate certain moments and changes in the group’s songs. Yet for all the emphasis on the beats, there wasn’t a whole lot of movement in the crowd. Which isn’t to say the crowd wasn’t paying rapt attention, singing along to every song, and generally just blissing out. I’m going to go ahead and say that Oakland will be inviting Local Natives back real soon.

Here’s the official video for “Breakers”: