LIVE REVIEW: Freelance Whales @ the Troubadour 11/18
Ever since last holiday season when I was introduced to and began my love affair with Freelance Whales’ “Starring”, seeing them live has been high on my concert wish list. So upon learning the band out of Queens, NY, would be performing at my favorite LA venue, the Troubadour, I purchased my tickets and waited not-so patiently for this magical night to arrive.
The 5-piece instrument-laden Freelance Whales (Frenchkiss Records) entertained a sold-out crowd of harmony-loving-indie-pop fans for just under 90 minutes. In front of a colorful patchwork dropcloth of a city skyline and standing between human-size tulips illuminated by rope lighting the band performed live renditions of their debut album Weathervanes. As if teasing the audience with a nibble of a new album, Freelance Whales also performed three new songs, the recently released “Enzymes”, and two others hot off the press, “Footprints” and “Day Off”. Dazzling their fans with 3-part harmonies and their playful style, Freelance Whales zestfully played under warm hues of rose and orange. Twice a family relative and cast member of “Glee”, Darren Criss, joined the band playing harmonium for “Generator ^ First Floor” and then returned later playing the mandolin.
I love this band exponentially so it pains me to admit that there seemed to be something lacking in their show. Perhaps it was that Judah’s vocals were a touch off as a friend pointed out. Or it could have been the set-list order, opening with a new song and ending with the beautiful yet damp “Broken Horse” that put a kink in the energy. Or maybe it was that my own expectations were just too high. Whatever it was, I still enjoyed my night, and I won’t hesitate to return to see the New York subway band the next time they return to Los Angeles.