Capital Cities | 06.06.2013 | El Rey Theatre | Los Angeles, CA


There was no shortage of soul, flashy lights, melodic riffs, and fresh, black satin track jackets at the sold-out El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA for a night that is bound to live in history, all thanks to the breakout indie-pop group Capital Cities.

As the red velvet curtain pulled back, a hefty pair of rope-lighted sunglasses serving as the background gave predominate foreshadowing to what was about to ensue. The first song up for the newly celebrated group based out of Los Angeles, CA was a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe,” which was one of many eclectic tunes performed by the frontmen Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant.

If you were lucky enough to snag one of the tickets to the show you’d know that the duo weren’t the only ones movin’ and grovin’ on stage. The supporting members of the group didn’t go unnoticed or uncelebrated, as such as when Spencer Ludwig (trumpet) almost knocked into my camera during his solo in “I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo.” Nevertheless, it was one of the most hair-raising solos I’ve witnessed pushed out of an instrument made of brass. And let’s not discredit the musical talents of Nick Merwin (guitar) and Manuel Quintero (bass) for what they were able to inject into the live music of Capital Cities.

Going to concerts and experiencing artists take hold of their true selves while unleashing dynamic emotions is something I take full pleasure in beholding. It captivates, energizes, and refocuses one’s inner core. Capital Cities went above and beyond the call of duty that night by not only instilling positive vibes throughout the entire venue from their vantage point, but also from the spectator’s dance floor. During the track “Holiday,” Simonian and Merchant joined their wide-eyed fanatics on the floor for a new age dance-off.

As the phrase goes, “All good things must come to an end,” unless of course you had a ticket to the group’s sold out show the following day at the same venue. And if you didn’t, the band is on tour for what seems like the next decade promoting their album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, which I highly support and suggest you pick up. I walked away from The El Rey theatre that night with a greater appreciation of talented artists that have an uncanny appreciation for their fans. As any good black satin track jack, time only makes the fabric better.