Sunday saw another spectacular edition of KCRW’s World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl occur. Headlining the evening were local indie-rock favorites Lord Huron. The event also featured Austin folk rocker Shakey Graves, and English singer-songwriter Yola making her Los Angeles debut.
Kicking things off while the sun was still shining was Yola. What a way to make your Los Angeles debut, at the Hollywood Bowl! Her cover of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was a favorite, but it was her own song that followed “It Ain’t Easier” that really impressed the Hollywood crowd. People got out of their seats to hoot and holler as Yola stretched her vocals to their limit in the song’s breakdown.
The country-soul queen recently released her debut record Walk Through Fire, which so happened to be produced by Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. This won’t be the last time we see Yola grace a big stage in Los Angeles, but I was happy to be there to see the first.
Shakey Graves took the stage next, splitting his set into being half a solo gig and half with a band. The project of Alejandro Rose-Garcia, he was hilarious between songs as he talked about his time living in LA. He was especially funny when talking about the decrepit place he lived in and the girlfriend who dumped him, not figuring out it was because of the shithole apartment until his wiser years.
He leaned into his most recent album from last year Can’t Wake Up, but didn’t play my favorite cut “Kids These Days”. But “Counting Sheep” and “Mansion Door” were two standouts from the record that made the cut. He closed the set with the crowd-pleasing “Late July” and made a ton of new fans.
It had been six years since Lord Huron played with Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Hollywood Bowl, and boy was this a return. Six songs from their most recent album Vide Noir highlighted the show, an album that shows an awesome progression from their indie-folk roots. It’s got more oomph than anything in their back catalog and made the Hollywood Bowl fit like a glove.
The real highlight of the set came in their encore, when they brought out another local product in Phoebe Bridgers. Wearing a dapper suit, Bridgers lent her vocals on the set-closing “The Night We Met”, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. You can watch a shaky phone video of it below.
Photo by Tim Aarons from Lord Huron’s Greek Theatre show