aka Buildings in Echo Park, aka Architecture in Helsinki gave a few of us a sneak preview of their Coachella set Wednesday night at the Echo. Thank openers The Ruby Suns for spilling the beans on their myspace page a few weeks earlier when they toured through with Le Loup.
The scene was surprising unpacked considering the speed at which secret shows travel in LA over the LAist/LastFM/random blogger airwaves. There were only about 20 people in line 20 minutes before the first band, The Happy Hallows, played. Nathalie and I took decided to grab some nive $2.50 margaritas up the street. When we returned, The Happy Hallows had just begun, and the crowd had crawled out of the woodwork.
The female singer/guitarist of The Happy Hallows was sort of a Karen O meets Marnie Stern with her spunky, spastic, finger tapping guitar playing. Ruby Suns came out with a cymbal even more broken than the previous show which ultimately gave lead man Ryan McPhun I nice slice during the set. That may have explained their near complete disregard for the audience. Great music, poor engagement.
AIH was worth the late night. It was past 11:30 by the time they started and as Nathalie noted, I was already getting the yawns. The perfect remedy though was the upbeat dance-inspired tunes of the aussies. The previously mentioned multi-instrumentalist Ryan joined AIH for their entire set and made me wonder how they ever performed without him.
Architecture in Helsinki
Ryan from The Ruby Suns as special guest
Like most indie bands today, AIH went through instrument swaps between nearly every song. Can't the keyboardist who switches with the guitarist just show him the cool riff he wrote? What's with all the change ups??? Well, they were thankfully quick. Despite the time (Je suis un hibou du nuit) , the band's well of exuberance was deep enough for all us 8-5ers to drink out of.
What's any group of young hipsters without some small nod to the 80's? Before they played Heart It Races, AIH gave us an Oz'ed up take of Mathhew Wilder's Break My Stride.
Break My Stride & Heart It Races
Te crowd was great, the company was great and it was a hell of a lot cheaper than paying to see them in the middle of the f'ing desert.
The Happy Hallows