Every once in a while I need a band to remind me why I got into this business in the first place. With so many egos, mediocre live shows, over hyped albums and regurgitated rubbish being rammed down our throats, it is easy to just say fuck it and bail out. The Little Ones were just what I needed last night.
Yesterday evening started off pretty foul. Al Roker blew the forecast big time, with strong thunderstorms coming into the NYC area about 5 hours before they were supposed to. With no umbrella and a monsoon falling outside, the evening was not off to a good start. I made my way over to the F train, zipping down to the Second Ave. stop. With an hour to kill, it was time to grab a quick bite at San Loco. After a taco and a couple of margaritas, the storm had finally mellowed out a bit, so I made the jump over to the Mercury Lounge.
I was fairly familiar with The Little Ones prior to the show, as I have spent plenty of time with their Sing Song EP. Although on tape they remind me a bit of The Shins, on stage their interesting use of beats, percussion, along with spontaneous hoots, hollers and handclaps, I nearly had a flashback to seeing Pavement during their Brighten The Corners tour. The Little Ones' songs are much more concise and straightforward than those of Pavement, but the similarities were definitely there last night.
The band kicked off their set with the insanely catchy "Lovers Who Uncover," which is easily one of the best songs of the year. I could help but smile as frontman Ed Reyes shimmied and grinned as his brother bassist Brian Reyes added in handclaps and the manic "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah" as background vocals. A little bit goofy but they are whole hell of a lot of fun. By the end of the song the crowd was bopping and clapping along. You really can't help but love these guys.
Their sunny California pop continued with more songs off their EP, including "Let Them Ring The Bells," "Cha Cha Cha" and "High On A Hill." What I really enjoyed from their live show is that they truly enjoy performing. These guys have a great time on stage, never afraid to break out into a bit of dancing or cheering along. The Little Ones have tons of energy and not to mention some kick ass pop songs.
I left the Mercury Lounge last night totally impressed with this Los Angeles quintet. Sure they are still a little rough around the edges, but the slight imperfection of their live show is actually quite endearing. It has been quite some time since a show has put me in that good of a mood. For our NYC readers, you can still see The Little Ones for yourself, as they are performing this Saturday at the Bowery Ballroom. If you are free tomorrow night, I highly suggest checking them out.
Photos by Dorothy Hong