Sandwiched comfortably between two of S.B.’s biggest little acts, Portland’s Hosannas turned out yet another spectacular show this past Monday at Muddy Waters Café. Despite frigid (for SoCal) temps and the expected Monday night show going slog, fans and friends came out in sizable force to support and were rewarded handsomely with three sets worth of rising indie rock talent.
Local songstress Little Indian (street name Lindsey Waldon) started the night off softly enough with a short but sweet set of piano- and acoustic guitar-backed singer-songwriter fare. From behind a plastic-pony-adorned keyboard, Waldon crooned and belted through a smattering of newly minted tracks, showing poise and growth both lyrically and behind the keys.
Following her set, Hosannas’ brothers-cum-bandmates Richard and Brandon Laws made quick work of their setup before launching into a solid set’s worth of as-yet-unnamed tunes, older favorites, and newly reworked material from the duo’s recently self-released full-length, Together. Armed with a slew of pedals, synths, and a recently acquired drum machine, the brothers unleashed a veritable aural assault of beats and harmonies. Amongst the highlights, oldie “The Sea” was a sweet and shockingly stripped down reprieve from the more bass heavy portions of the evening, while newer cuts like “Be Careful” and the set-closing “When We Were Young” showcased the pair doing what they do best: creating intricate soundscapes and swirling atmospherics that both sound and feel far larger than the sum of their parts.
As the night’s closers, Little Owl unabashedly acknowledged they had a tough act to follow, but were able to thrive thanks to a whole lot of harmonies and a healthy pack of encouraging (and booty shaking) fans. The band’s shtick falls somewhere between Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros’ communal party vibe and Arcade Fire’s build-‘em-up epicness, relying on no shortage of group vocals, instrumental swells, and noisy climaxes to get the room up and moving. Needless to say, by night’s end the place was still brimming with energy, which is saying a lot. Especially for a Monday.