Brooklyn-born Nation of Language brought their gleaming indie-pop to the Lodge Room in Los Angeles last night, kicking off the first of two nights with a set that beamed fans through a synth-fantasia of their most euphoric tracks. The trio played songs from their electrifying debut LP Introduction, Presence, as well as from the half-dozen sublime singles released since, all of which have garnered them a following eager to exalt at the altar of the band’s rhapsodic new wave anthems. Led by the gloomy bellows of Ian Richard Devaney (vocals, guitar, percussion), coupled with the talents of Aidan Noell (synthesizer, vocals) and Michael Sue-Poi (bass), the trio released cascade after blissful cascade upon the crowd, until every body present was just another reverberating conductor of their own limitless energies.
Onstage Devaney was a wraith of movement, appearing ravished by the potent tug of delirious melancholia and enchanted elation that pours from his rotund vocals. From the pulsating rhythms of “Rush & Fever” and the exhilarating rager “September Again,” to the buzzing and moody convulsions on “Indignities” — Nation of Language had no intention of slowing down their meteoric freefall into deeper fervors. And fans, who had been deprived of the catharsis of live shows for too long, were all too happy to join them.
Public Practice opened the night for Nation of Language with their unique variety of enigmatic no-wave dark disco. Comprised of Sam York (lyricist, singer), Vince McClelland (sonic architect, guitarist), Drew Citron (bass, vocals, synth), and Scott Rosenthal (drummer, producer), the four-piece create slick, groovy pieces that blend punk, funk, and pop. The result is addictively and instantaneously danceable, with York strutting onstage to the band’s jittery tunes, like the hyperkinetic “Underneath.”