This past Friday, I caught Wild Nothing at the Regent in Downtown L.A. with Charlie Hilton. I was looking forward to seeing Charlie Hilton, as I am a big fan of her other band, Blouse. I have managed to see Wild Nothing at least once per year so far, and this was my second time seeing them perform this year, as I saw them just last month at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana.
This was my first time seeing a show at the Regent Theater in Downtown. I liked that the floor was at a slight slant so that vertically challenged people (like myself) could still get a clear view of the stage, even from farther behind.
Opening act Charlie Hilton took the stage adorned in a ’70’s inspired jumpsuit and orange jacket. Her band performed songs off her solo album, Palana, which is chock-full of dreamy ’70’s style rock. With simple chord changes and minimal melodic changes, their set blended together in a wash of sound.
After a prolonged intermission, Wild Nothing took the stage selected a perfect opening song in “To Know You.” They performed mostly tracks from their latest album, Life of Pause, but were sure to include some crowd favorites from Nocturne and Gemini, completely as if Empty Estate didn’t exist. They certainly have a lot of material to choose from though, with 5 albums that had been consistently released. The audience seemed to enjoy their older works, as they responded enthusiastically to performances of “Only Heather” and “Nocturne” to name a couple.
And their performance seemed to have zero flaws … that is, until the encore.
The crowd was wild with cheering after they closed their set with the dreamy track, “Summer Holiday,” and it didn’t take long for them to come out and play three more songs. However, during the performance of “Shadow,” when frontman Jack Tatum went to pick up his guitar, there appeared to be a malfunction—one of which he would soon make everyone in the room aware of when he began flailing amp cords and pacing around in a panic…
And when he stormed off the stage, it was clear that he took on his alter-ego, Jack Tantrum. The band tried to salvage the closing song, but it was left on an uncomfortable note. I just looked at my friends and said, “well, that was disappointing.” They agreed.
During a performance, things happen that can make it go awry. But, they don’t have to be made into a big deal. The band was totally willing to carry on, just like in this story my father shared with me while he was playing principal horn at the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and came in a bar early…the other players just caught on and the audience never knew.
Hopefully he can learn from this experience, and end the performance on a high note the next time. These clips captured many of the highlights: