Rain didn’t stop thousands of indie music fans from attending Radio 94.7‘s 4th annual winter showcase Electric Christmas last night (December 8) at the newly christened Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento, California.
Well, the rain may have delayed many concertgoers as all-female psychedelic rock band Warpaint opened the evening at its announced 6:30 p.m. start time – kudos to organizers for staying on schedule for much of the evening – to a sparse crowd, both in the upper level seats and on the floor.
It made no difference to the Los Angeles quartet as they played a relatively brisk five-song set that featured “Undertow,” “Elephants,” and “New Song” (the latter a single from the just released album Heads Up). This was actually Warpaint’s first appearance in Sacramento, which gave those fans unwilling to make the drive to nearby San Francisco a chance to finally see these four talented women rock.
New Zealand rockers The Naked and the Famous made EC16 the last stop on their current North American tour. Lead singer Alisa Xayalith provided a pleasurable vocal range with just the right amount of angst that helped push and pull you in the band’s sonic carousel from the anthemic “Higher” to big hits “Punching in a Dream” and set closer, “Young Blood.”
You never really know how popular some bands are until you hear thousands of screaming fans chant the band’s name, cheer, and sing along to every song. A few months ago, I was floored by Panic! at the Disco during the City of Trees Summer Concert Event; this time it was British electric band Glass Animals that got a lot of the crowd’s juices flowing.
Lead singer Dave Bayley teased the audience by slipping off his shoes, explaining that by doing so he “can dance properly.” And dance he did, all over the stage and down on the floor as far as he could get without security stopping him. From the slow burning “Toes” to his (fake) pineapple tossing on “Pork Soda” to crowd-favorite “Gooey,” Glass Animals provided the perfect downtempo electronic dance music that hit the right note for that time of night.
German band Milky Chance provided an alternative sound to the still-dancing crowd. Lead singer Clemens Rehbein repeated the band’s mantra “peace and love” throughout the set. The band’s bluesy, but upbeat tunes encouraged a more casual rhythm to head-bob and hip-shake to as they performed big hit “Stolen Dance” and new hit “Cocoon.”
The night’s end was near as Capital Cities geared up for the concert’s final performance. The Los Angeles duo kept up the beats, reminding me of similar energy I saw from Chromeo during last year’s TBD Festival. Capital Cities performed a mix of old hits (“Kangaroo Court”) and new songs (“Vowels”) from its forthcoming untitled sophomore album.
Ryan Merchant (vocals, guitar) and Sebu Simonian (vocals, keyboard) taught the crowd how to do the Capital Cities Shuffle–a dance move that consisted of taking a few steps to the right, a few steps back to the left, then spin. “That’s it,” deadpanned Merchant as the two continued the shuffle. From what I could see, people shuffled as best and as often as they could while Merchant and Simonian played “River Phoenix” and “Center Stage” before the night’s official end around 11 p.m.
All photos taken by author unless otherwise noted.