No one ever thinks of Boise as a “hip and happening” kind of town. Oh come on - no one really thinks of Boise, period. Case in point: when Los Angeles based band Local Natives played Boise several times in the past (as Cavil at Rest), their crowd maxed out at approximately fifteen people. That’s total, between two to three shows. Last night, Neurolux packed a house of hipster and indie rock kid paradise, just like something straight out of the pages of an Urban Outfitters catalog. With all the hype surrounding this band’s sold out West Coast shows and a spot in this year’s Austin City Limits music festival, Boise listeners finally broke out of the closet to head bop to these lad’s hooky, sashay-able grooves. Local Natives perfects their unique style with heavy drum lines, melodic chants and what I like to call “extracurricular instruments.” Even when lead singer/guitarist Taylor Rice backs down to give the other dudes a chance at the mic, they surely shine through in their own enchanting ways. Although I am sure this musically diverse band is likened to a few other world music slash diversity-driven bands out there, their range of talent and their willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles sets them far apart from the rest harmoniously.
Fact: anyone who is everyone over 21 years of age and is into great music checks that Neurolux calendar every month and hits the search engines immediately to partake in the up and comers gracing their presence at Boise’s beloved smoky venue. The next week will prove to be zingers for live music:
June 1, Neurolux: Chicago singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson’s folk rock project Fruit Bats, Vetiver (a personal fave!) and Freelance Whales
June 1, Bouquet: Boise’s own folk rock and rollers New Transit
June 2, Neurolux: Soulful singer/songwriter/lyrical genius Damien Jurado
June 4, Neurolux: North Carolina’s literary low-fi band The Mountain Goats with The Beets.
Plants & Animals, a three piece from Montreal, rocked the walls off at the Neurolux on an uncharacteristically cold and dreary May night. Although they didn’t pack the house, the veteran post-classic rock and rollers did what they did best and turned out a clean, danceable high-energy set. With a new album, Lala Land, out in stores and on iTunes, the band saw switched between new hits and old standbys to a crowd of meandering local drinkers, who seemed to just be looking for a watering hole that could kick out a few jams in the inebriation process. After a few cocktails, bar goers assembled onto the dance floor and shook their money-makers, even garnering a one-song encore to keep the blood pumping. The band seemed a bit put off by the lack of attendees, but as soon as they spotted a few gems rallying in front of them, they kicked up the pace with their more movable tunes and almost even enjoyed themselves. After the set the Montreal boys mingled with the Lux standbys and had a few drinks themselves. Nice group of gentlemen, very polite. After all, they are Canadian.
Honorable mention goes out to the openers, Lost in the Trees, who dazzled with their big finale unplugged, on the floor and in the dark, with only the Neurolux’s token laser lights to guide them. Beautifully projected and on-point, the North Carolina folk orchestra collective swelled quite a few hearts and made some new fans.
“All I do is act on my passions and they call it sin. All I do is tell the truth and they call me a hypocrite. All I feel is pain and sorrow and they call it love. All I do is pour my heart out to empty pages and they call it poetry.”—Benito Behar