Photo via Instagram user @The_Baumer15
Last night at the Glass House in Pomona, Los Angeles indie rockers The Active Set had the coveted spot of opening up for indie rock royalty, Bloc Party. After quite the hiatus, naturally it was sold-out show. Fans packed the Glass House from wall-to-wall in excitement for seeing Bloc Party live.
We’ haven’t seen Bloc Party perform live since we last covered their show at the Hollywood Palladium in 2012. The band was touring in support of their fourth record titled, Four.
Last night, the wait was over. Bloc Party was taking the stage once again (with new members) as part of FYF Fest’s run of side shows. But before rocking the night away with Bloc Party, LA’s The Active Set took the stage and primed us with their bright indie rock sounds. Before the show I briefly spoke to lead vocalist/guitarist Matthew Stolarz and he said this was a very special show for them because Bloc Party has always been a huge influence in their music. When The Active Set came on, I could definitely hear what he was saying. I did feel that influence in their music and I think the crowd did as well.
Throughout The Active Set’s entire performance the audience was fully engaged with their vibrant indie rock. Each song was met with a great applause. Fans warmed up their limbs by swaying along to The Active Sets infectious melodies and tight grooves. With driving guitars and hook-friendly choruses, The Active Set proved to be the perfect appetizer to the main dish that was Bloc Party. Stolarz seemed to be genuinely grateful for his moment to open up for Bloc Party. You could feel the positive energy just bouncing off the band, to the crowd, and back on to the band. It was pretty awesome.
The Active Set
After The Active Set’s memorable performance, Bloc Party finally hit the stage. Unfortunately, there were no professional press photography allowed for their set. So please excuse our lack of photos from their set. You’ll just have to wait for our FYF coverage!
The excitement was thick and fans grew antsy for Bloc Party. I think the DJ knew this and just played the Al Green greatest hits to keep things mellow, but after each song the crowd thought the band was going on. Bloc Party went on stage a little late, but it didn’t matter. The crowd erupted with yells of happiness, hoots and hand claps. The band started with a live debut of the song “Edon” and then went into “Hunting for Witches”. Hands were flailing and hips were shaking. It was great to see so much movement and happiness at a show.
Frontman, Kele Okereke asked if the crowd knew “Waiting for the 7.18” and the crowd cheered “yes!” and he asked, “Well then, can you please sing it with me?” And of course the crowd obliged sang along to the sweet indie rock ballad.
Bloc Party were outstanding. At the beginning of their encore, Okereke introduced new drummer Louise Bartel who was pretty amazing on the set. That girl hits hard and hits fast, and definitely has honed her chops. Also added to the new Bloc Party lineup was a bassist named Justin (sorry, there was no last name given). Justin took on some back-up vocals and also drove them thick bass lines like it was nobody’s business. The new Bloc Party lineup performed like they’ve been playing together for years. It was hard to conceive that his was just a warm-up show considering their tight sound. Okereke said that it was very important that they did their first show at The Glasshouse because they had a very memorable show there in 2004.
Bloc Party closed their 17-song set with “Modern Love.” Fans went wild as though it were their last night on earth. Without a doubt, Bloc Party put on a stellar performance at The Glass House.
Bloc Party and The Active Set will perform another sold-out show tonight at The Roxy. Block Party will also take the stage at FYF Fest on Sunday.
Words and Photography: Wes Marsala
The Active Set
The Active Set
Want more photos of The Active Set? Check out the photo gallery below!
Bloc Party Setlist — The Glass House, August 20, 2015