This past weekend, October 16, marked the longest drive to see a single concert for a large amount of people, including myself. Some fans journeyed over 5 ½ hours, if not more, all to see a few bands—Local Natives, The Ruby Suns, and The Union Line—at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC. Once the show began, I understood why.
The Union Line, a five-piece from California, started off the night. Creative drum beats were a staple in each song laced with pretty guitar and Natives-esque vocals. While most shows’ opener band encourages a crowd to linger at best, The Union Line had the crowd engaged and dancing within the first song.
The Ruby Suns followed with a poppier set; think Toro Y Moi if they ate too much sugar. Regardless of the slight genre change, it kept everyone energetic.
Following was the headliner for the night, Local Natives. With only one LP out, Gorilla Manor, I was surprised to see a sold-out show. The fanbase was incredible, especially for such a new band. It was shoulder-to-shoulder and impossible to move as far front as I would have liked. The set started off strong and hit every song on the album. Another pleasant surprise was Local Natives actually sounds better live, in my opinion. Everything—vocals, drums, guitar, etc.—was on point, in addition to crowd interaction. Another very unique aspect of this band is each member alternated instruments every song or so.
One of my (many) favorite parts of this show particularly was how eager the bands were to meet the fans. Every member from the three bands took time to hold a conversation with fans, sign autographs, joke around, and take pictures with the best college radio station in NC.