REVIEW: Birds Of Tokyo At The Bootleg


Aussie band Birds of Tokyo brought down the house at the Bootleg in Silverlake, Tuesday, with their rhythmic and relaxing melodies.

Though the concert started fairly early for L.A., a good crowd had gathered by the time the band came out (at around 8:30). The vibe in the room was very relaxed. Couples and friends sipped on beer and wine without crowding the stage. Everyone seemed content with swaying to the music and winding down after a long day.

The venue was small and intimate, but singer Ian Kenny’s voiced boomed through the venue as though it were a concert arena. The set was full of heavy guitar sounds and synthesizers, but Kenny’s voice remained clear throughout the night. There was a good amount of reverb in the venue and each song echoed all the way to the back of the room. It was a strange mixture hearing this big arena style set and seeing the people in the audience just grooving, but it worked for them.

The band opened the show with “When the Night Falls Quiet” from their most recent album “March Fires.” The song’s title tells you everything about its sound, it was very mellow and I found myself swaying along with everyone else almost immediately. The tone was pretty much set for the night after the first song. All the other songs from the set kind of blurred together. It was almost like one long song with a few different beats here and there. The performance was very polished and enjoyable, but it was difficult to pick standouts from the set, which was strange because the recorded versions of most of the songs are a lot more in your face. “Broken Bones” for example, has very heavy sounds and almost sounds like hard rock in the recorded version, but live it was more haunting than anything else.

Kenny and the rest of the band didn’t really interact with the crowd much either so there were no breaks in between songs to help distinguish them from each other. Don’t get me wrong, they looked like they were having a good time, they just weren’t talkers. It was all about the music for them.

For me, the standout song of the night was “Wide Eyed Boy.” The melody reminded me of Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel.” I love 80s and early 90s music so it was nice to hear that from a few of their songs.

The night’s closing song was “This Fire” — also from the latest album. It seemed to be the audience favorite. Overall, the show was enjoyable and good stress release after a hectic day in L.A., but if I hadn’t already heard there songs it would have been difficult to choose a favorite.

Birds of Tokyo is playing three more shows in California from now until June. Check out their tour dates here.


Photography by Rosemary Vega

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