LIVE REVIEW: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down @ El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles 2/15/14
The El Rey Theatre is always a safe bet for hosting great music acts, the layout of the venue gives people multiple ways to experience the concert. This particular Saturday night was a busy one, with excitement floating through the air as Thao & The Get Down Stay Down appeared on stage. Tonight they were joined by a two piece horn section (one who switched to cello on a few songs) and a violinist. The added instruments added to the dexterity of Thao & The Get Dow Stay Down”s music. Songs like “We Don”t Call”, “Beat (Health, Life and Fire)” and “Human Heart” packed a bigger punch with added sounds. “The Give” followed with the violin and cello carrying the end of the song then fading to Thao picking away at her guitar while the crowd participated in carrying the beat.
Thao then mentioned that they”d “be playing a few of the old ones” and jokingly pleaded, “Please don”t ask for really old songs that we don”t play anymore. I have bad memory and it”s embarrassing. It”s probably from getting older.” While most were still chuckling from the aforementioned comment she followed it up with “I bought a Prius this year, how”s that for feeling old?”. “Cool Yourself” was next, off of Know Better Learn Faster one of Thao”s first solo releases. At the song”s conclusion she Dit zijn waarbij je inzet op speeltafels waarachter echte dealers staan, die de verzorgen. again jokingly said “I get almost 42 miles to a gallon,” with a much needed smile before playing “Know Better Learn Faster”. The song showed all aspects of Thao”s strong character, the courage to show vulnerability while still showing a sort of badass persona (in a good way, not bad one).
Her voice carries so much soulful angst, that plays to the band”s strengths and ability to explode during a subtle moment. Thao took the time to introduce the members of the band before playing “Kindness Be Conceived”. The inclusion of the violin gave the song a more country/blue grass feel, during the song the band also cleverly switched lyrics and sang “When we wake in the Los Angeles light!” The extra musicians did not participate for “The Day Long” and “Age Of Ice”, which didn”t make an initial difference due to the spectacular brilliance of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.
Before playing “We The Common (For Valerie Bolden), Thao made sure to acknowledge the sale of special “Thao Is For Lovers” lithograph for sale with all proceeds going to California Coalition for Women Prisoners. The ending of “Move” showcased Thao”s clever rapper impression, when including lyrics from the Ludacris song “What”s Your Fantasy?”, then dropping the microphone and walking off stage, brave and confident. The band came out for a two song encore which included Thao beat boxing during “Bag of Hammers”. The evening ended on a high note, with many hanging around to meet Thao and have her sign their lithograph. The band managed to keep a level of excitement and overall fun during their entire performance. A concert experience that”s worth every dollar spent.