Lead singer and founder of LA’s own indie/ guitar rock act, Dum Dum Girls, Kristin Welchez got the evening started with her latest project under the moniker Kristen Kontrol. With her dreamy synth pop and heavy R&B influences, without a doubt, she took control of the incoming audience. Her debut record X-Communicate came out last spring via SubPop, so be sure to check it out.
Next on the bill was none other than epic indie rock band, Spoon. I was super excited to catch them after the recent release of their ninth studio album Hot Thoughts. These guys freaking slay! With consistent quality in their music, they definitely had the Bowl in upbeat funk. Frontman Britt Daniel and his crew definitely didn’t disappoint. I’ve always known Spoon to be this killer staple in rock music. They have this rad almost post-punk sound that resembles that of Depeche Mode and even The Cure. Sunday night they played an array of hits such as “The Underdog“ and “My Mathematical Mind” along with new favorite off the latest record, “Can I Sit Next To You?”
Spoon just got back from Lollapalooza and you can catch them co-headlining in a few months with The Shins.
With the warmest of welcomes and a three-second film reel countdown on the screen, Scottish folk-pop band Belle & Sebastian took the stage. This was my first time catching the beloved group and I can say that they were one of my favorite live acts in a really long time. From the beginning to the end of the performance, the music sounded full and ever-glossy complete with eight talented musicians in the lineup. Frontman, Stuart Murdoch brought an explosion of energy which gradually released as the show carried on. Fans were on their feet swaying and hugging their loved ones along to some of our favorite melodic tunes such as “I’m A Cuckoo,” “Another Sunny Day,” and their fresh release “We Were Beautiful.”
Now Belle & Sebastian didn’t just grace us with beautiful music, swoon and serenade for an hour and twenty minutes. Murdoch personally charmed his way into each and every audience members’ hearts with his genuine conversation. Pleased to be at the Hollywood Bowl he initially greeted the packed amphitheater with warm gratitude. He went on to make one-sided small talk as varied as can be about the Dodgers and even how he takes advice from Selena Gomez. It truly was hysterically adorable. With baseball banter under way Murdoch also led the audience in a non-traditional seventh inning “ommm” after he mentioned his recent taking to buddhism.
Not getting sidetracked, the group kept things going and even brought up old friend Kristin of opening act Kristin Kontrol to join them in singing their 2015 collaboration “Play For Today.”
If things weren’t exciting enough, Murdoch made his way into the box seats and out and up the further aisles while the band intro’d the well-known tune “The Boy With The Arab Strap.” He hopped back down bringing fans down with him to join the band on stage. It was nuts! He casually asked for everyone to come up too so of course fans flooded down. With about maybe thirty giddy fans on stage, it instantly turned into a dance party for the next two songs.
Wrapping the night up they performed one of my personal favorites “Judy and the Dream of Horses” with Murdoch simply being his charming self and leaving the crowd heart struck.
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein
More Photos of Belle & Sebastian, Spoon and Kristin Kontrol at Hollywood Bowl!