Once again Private Island found themselves gracing San Diego’s House of Blues. Musical acts Mating Ritual and Creature Canyon joined them. On Saturday, Nov. 11 the band came out onto the shared space to an antsy crowd. Instantly, the room was filled with beachy vibes as the band started their performance.
As a surprise to most, Private Island threw things back and switched it up by performing their rendition of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” In the band’s own fashion they brought a fresh and vibrant twist to the classic while still remaining true to the source material. Something about the band’s version of the song brought a cohesive energy to their live show that most bands seem to miss out on. At this point during this song, the whole crowd was moving and singing along. Private Island’s bassist Tommy Knickerson and lead guitarist Cameron Anderson couldn’t help shaking it as well.
With a slight change up in instrumentation, female vocalist Michelle Guerrero provided the synths and keys for the night while Roger Mawer played rhythm guitar. The band was able to exude the L.A. ‘indie-pop’ sound that they’ve been known for, while bringing the dark melodical R’n’B tones that come across in their new songs. Private Island seems to have found the sweet spot with playing their new songs live. The performance gave the audience a chance soak up all the nuances of the darker grooves of the new singles.
Lead vocalist, Christian Lum took the wheel that night and left the audience with their arms waving out the windows, all the lit up faces were entranced with Lum’s vocals and way with words. Drummer Timothy Barbour provided the backbone for the whole night. Truly talented and a presence all on his own, Barbour kept the beats grooving and the people moving.
Next time Private Island rolls through to San Diego or to your respective city, be sure to jump on the bus and jam out with L.A.’s freshest indie band. They’ll continue their tour all the way through December 7, with their last stop in Phoenix, AZ, where they’ll be playing the Valley Bar.
If you’re on the lookout for their tour bus rolling into your town, don’t be looking for a normal tour bus. Instead, be on the prowl for a refurbished school bus. Private Island started their fall tour by selling out L.A.’s Roxy Theatre in October and are rolling through to San Diego’s very own House of Blues this Saturday, Nov. 11.
The band’s sound is a culmination of indie rock and surf tones mixed with notes and hues of R’n’B. Where words fail to describe, the band’s songs speak volumes. With tracks such as “Bear Hands” off of their “A Good Look” EP, the band eases into chunky grooves, with drummer Timothy Barbour’s complex yet danceable beats and Roger Mawer’s smooth synth tones.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Private Island’s current sound you’ll find much darker tones, separate from their second EP, “Sunbreak,” which offered listeners a more refined version of the band’s ever evolving sound. The songs “Trouble” and “I Know” from their “Sunbreak” EP can’t be described. You’ll just have to listen to experience the feelings of nostalgia and romanticism the song’s will most likely conjur. Sun-soaked guitar riffs by lead guitarist Cameron Anderson will have you turning up the volume and rolling down your windows as you drive into the sunset.
Produced by Jacob Munk, Private Island’s newest singles will surely have old and new listeners alike intrigued and pining for more drawn out songs drenched in synth-pop undertones. Lead vocalist, Christian Lum, breaks up previously used techniques by having more effects that add to the fresh and dark sound of these singles. Be sure to give “Juvenile” the listen it deserves. This single leaves so much unsaid by Michelle Guerrero, the backbone of the melody, whose subtlety and talent still shines through as a secondary vocalist.
Pro-tip: Check out “Don’t Call Me” from their first EP if you want to hear Michelle have her say. This track that stands out as crowd favorite and is a chart topper all on its own.
Private Island will be playing at the House of Blues in San Diego, so for those of you lucky enough to live in the area be sure to buy your tickets now and don’t sleep on this band.
Featured Image courtesy of ©2016 Lisa Flory.