Beyond the plentiful but conventional chances to see live music nightly in Los Angeles, there’s the stranger, sometimes seedier and usually free-er concert terrain. One radio station lets you watch bands on top of a skyscraper, Clear Channel just opened a full theater for live radio tapings, and everywhere from the Santa Monica Pier to MacArthur Park have free offerings on a daily basis. So, finding yourself hyped-up on cranberry Red Bull while remarkably attractive people dance in a sweaty club to a Disclosure DJ set before dinner time isn’t that out of the ordinary. But it still is pretty weird.
Despite the atmosphere created by their music, which captivated critics and the mainstream alike with last year’s Settle, the brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence don’t want that whole garage and house sound to fool you. “We’re a band,” they agreed during the interview portion of their appearance at the Red Bull Sound Space, and backed it up by showing the charisma and personality of frontmen, cracking jokes about their “Latch” collaborator Sam Smith (they expected a woman based on his name and voice) and giving a shoutout to local favorite Umami Burger. We didn’t get a chance to witness the duo playing music like a band, which happens on the larger stages, but their knob turning and button pushing managed to captivate regardless. Good songs are good songs, whether you have a laser light show or not.