Few rock bands have generated as much buzz as Los Angeles act Lo Moon.
Off the strength of a demo of eventual single “Loveless”, the trio signed to Columbia Records. They’ve toured with the likes of Air, Glass Animals, and others while hitting the festival circuit hard in the last 12 months. They dropped their self-titled debut album on Feb. 23 — and it’s lived up to the hype.
Tuesday night, the band was playing a makeup show at the Teragram Ballroom that was supposed to come near the beginning of a spring tour in March. The hometown crowd got treated to a band out of a touring cycle who looked happy to be on stage in front of a friendly crowd.
The band opened with booming single “This Is It”, with its heavy percussion rocking the foundations of the DTLA venue. Next out of the gate was “The Right Thing” — a great representation for how Lo Moon writes these cinematic power ballads that feel like something Bryan Adams would’ve written if he was in an electro-rock band in 2018.
Lo Moon singer Matt Lowell sounds a bit like Bryan Adams vocally as well. The song “Thorns” sounds like something that would be on the soundtrack to the reboot of Top Gun.
Lowell has been compared to Springsteen by the Los Angeles Times when they had only one song to their name, and the band played that up by covering The Boss in the form of “State Trooper”. That song was morphed into by a cover of Prefab Sprout’s “Bonny” and then their own track “Tried To Make It Your Own” .
Samuel Stewart roared on a couple of guitar solos and it dawned on me that I had seen him in former local band Nightmare & The Cat several years ago. Multi-instrumentalist Crisanta Baker, who plays bass and keys, also spent time in local outfit Surfer Riot. This is a band that just dropped their debut album but proved on stage they’ve got tons of experience to pull from.
The band closed their set with “Real Love”, a crescendoing banger that has Lowell singing a verse I could see Sade trying on for size. The song then explodes into a big rock ballad of a chorus that would’ve made early ’90s Jon Bon Jovi blush, but with a dash of Talk Talk.
Lowell returned to the stage to play “All In” solo, later being joined by the rest of the band for “Loveless”, the song that started it all. I remember listening to that song on repeat the first time I heard it, and it doesn’t disappoint live. It has the slow burn of some of my trip-hop favorites but with a modern electro feel.
Photos by Todd Westphal