The Naked and Famous light up First Avenue


Hailing from New Zealand, The Naked and Famous will not see their native Island for quite a while as they have embarked on a massive 32 city tour of the US to promote their third album “Simple Forms” just released in October. Their single “Higher” has been on rotation at Twin Cities alt radio stations and Go96 sponsored Wednesday’s show at First Avenue.


The first of two opening bands The Chain Gang of 1974 only has one name on the “official” band member list Kamtin Mohager but he brought some musical reinforcements and delivered an outstanding, magnetic performance. The live versions of his songs have very strong intro heavy in bass and synth pulling the crowd in. Mohager’s energy was as infectious as his dance moves.

XYLØ, the brother sister duo of Paige and Chase Duddy was up next. They had some dedicated fans in the audience as evident by several “We love you, Paige” shouts. A newer band with one EP “America” to their name, they are working on their debut full album. Their dreamy electro pop sound was well received. Paige knows how to work a crowd moving all over the stage to be close to fans.

Set List: Gossip / Afterlife / Get Closer / Riot / Dead End Love / Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea / L.A. Love Song / America / Fool’s Paradise

Then it was time for the headliner The Naked and Famous. The band had their own elaborate LED light rig combining it with a good amount of smoke to bathe the stage in colored fog and performing in its cloud. As a photographer was a bit like being faced with a 2-pound Hamburger – it was a bit to much of a good thing blowing out many shots as the light setup relied heavily on back and side lights. From the audience though it looked fantastic when viewed with the old Mark I eyeball.

TNAF were not shy about their new album. Unlike some bands who save their current hit single for the encore, “Higher” blasted the crowd as their second song bringing any casual concert goer who did not know the band well into the fold of the dancing, singing masses. Through the set energy remained high and the dancing barely stopped. Circling back to their hits, the regular set closed with “Young Blood”. I quite enjoyed the performance, being one of those “not really familiar with the band” types.

Set List: Water Beneath You / Higher / All Of This / Punching In A Dream / Losing Our Control / Last Forevere / My Energy / Runners / A Stillness / Hearts Like ours / No Way-Alt / Laid Low / Girls Like You / Young Blood Encore: Rotten