Little Dragon (with Billy Goat) Live at the Echoplex: Live Review
[Originally published 1/9/2011]
What: Little Dragon (and Billy Goat)
Where: The Echoplex
When: January 8, 2011
Better than: Your average KCRW-endorsed Swedes
Little Dragon and Billy Goat managed to defy both the recession and the weather and blew our socks off in front of a packed house at The Echoplex. Good job that.
But before we get into this wonderful show - and it was pretty great - we need to talk about the fact that it was quite cold. Cold enough that scarves were abundant, most people wore hats, and for our part, we actually noticed the weather for a change. So what the hell was this guy thinking:
This guy works at the Echoplex. It turns out he's from Idaho, is a former Marine, served in Iraq and now when he isn't making sure things don't fall apart at Echoplex, helps prepare active soldiers for duty in Afghanistan. And just to make us feel that much wussier, wears shorts and a t shirt when it's 42 degrees. He was a really nice guy, no doubt about it, but we can't help but feel a bit embarrassed that while he talked to us blandly, as if it weren't cold, we shivered in our piled-upon-layers of not warm enough clothes and pretended not to be jealous.
But back to the show. It was packed. A line stretching down Glendale blvd of the sort normally reserved for Taco Zone greeted us when we arrived, and even that didn't do justice to the scene inside. People crammed against the stage 45 minutes before opener BIlly Goat started, just to stare at the projected graphic that served as a palate cleanser for their show. Due to the enormous crowd that beat us inside, here's half of what we were all staring at for nearly an hour:
After several minutes futzing about with their A/V equipment, Billy Goat began a brilliant, and shockingly unassuming show at 9:15, almost right on schedule. If you haven't heard them, rectify that immediately. They play prog-ish instrumentals that occupy a space somewhere in between Air and Sigur Rós, the kind of music you don't so much listen to as simply feel. On first listen it seems better suited to documentary soundtracks or solo drunken benders, than to live performance, and that impression isn't changed by the fact that they do everything they can to submerge themselves behind their music. Clad in understated jeans and t shirts, they sat in front of their instruments, the three members facing each other rather than the audience, reduced, by the delightful animations projected onto the screen above them, to mere silhouettes.