The Naked and Famous with Strange Babes | Boulder Theater

New Zealand was representing in Boulder on this night in a big way, and I was very happy to be part of it. I got the opportunity to meet and interview one of the nicest bands that I have ever met. Sam McCarthy and Lucas Ventura from Strange Babes were the ultimate hosts for me, and I had yet another magical evening of music and community. The night started with a terrific opening set by Strange Babes. Before I came to the show, as I was preparing to interview Sam, I listened to the only song available at the time on the internet entitled, “Holiday.” I really enjoyed the track a lot, but the performance of not only that song, but their entire set, forged my way to fandom quickly. The song and the set had a much cleaner sound, and they reminded me of one of my favorite bands that are no longer in existence called Luna. After interviewing McCarthy, I was told that they have their influences of course, but they try to keep their sound authentically rooted in music from their homeland, New Zealand. Their flexibility in morphing an electronic sound with rock n’ roll along with their desire to hold to the sounds of their country, allow this band to reach heights that others have not really tapped into yet. Their sound is very unique and fresh amongst an indie world chock full of similar sounding music. Strange Babes will be a name that you will soon hear about on a larger more global level, and you heard it here first. One of the guys that McCarthy played with in his former project, Joel Little, has already gone on to win a Grammy for writing and producing Lorde’s album. Keep an ear out for this ambitiously creative band for sure.

Because of my interview with McCarthy, I sadly missed White Sea’s set, but I was ready just in time for the start of The Naked and Famous. As I was snapping pictures in the pit for the first three songs, it was hard not to fall into a trance from singer, Alisa Xayalith’s hypnotic voice. Her vocals are captivating, and it was easy to see it in the eyes of the crowd as well. They opened with “A Stillness” and then went into the very popular “Heart Like Ours,” which is featured in the EA Sport’s FIFA ‘14 video game, just in time for the World Cup. After “Girls Like You”, which has also had its fair share of fame featured in the television shows DeGrassi, The Secret Circle, and even in the movie, The First Time, I moved out of the photo pit, just as the band played “Rolling Waves” and “The Sun.” The sold out Boulder Theater was dancing throughout the show, but it was not until the band played “All of This” and “Punching in a Dream” that the dance party elevated to another level. It was not just my opinion, but even Xayalith said, “Jeez,” after the audience screamed with pleasure after those two songs. The last song of the long set was a sing-a-long called, “No Way.” The encore set was “The Mess,” “To Move With Purpose,” and my favorite of theirs and the highly acclaimed song, “Young Blood.” “Young Blood” was most of the reason that the Naked and Famous cleaned up in the New Zealand music awards with the single off of the album Passive Me, Aggressive You.

These two bands are going to continue to snowball into stardom. They both provide a unique, energetic, and retro-electro-indie sound that has been the defining oration of the 21st century thus far.

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