Reviews

Show Review: Local Natives headline wild third night of Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

Drinks are flowing, ugly sweaters abound, and nearly a dozen bands have their moment in the spotlight. It’s the way of the annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party, and night #3 did not disappoint. Headliners Local Natives were joined by half alive and Winnetka Bowling League for a theater-packing event.

Each group brought their own flair, starting with Winnetka Bowling League’s crossovers from pop to hip-hop to sun-soaked rock. The Los Angeles group centers around veteran singer/songwriter/producer Matthew Koma and released its eponymous EP last year, and a brief set was enough to set the mood. 

Half•alive, not to be outdone, ramped it up with onstage dancers who joined Josh Taylor to form a human kaleidoscope of shapes and colors. Red, yellow, and blue were a blur as the trio chose tracks from their many previous EPs and this year’s Now, Not Yet. The crowd even got in on the action after being taught a sequence of dance moves. 

It’s hard to top a groovy dance party, but Local Natives had to give it a shot—and succeeded. Between the strobe lights and the crowdsurfing, the indie rockers made up for their late arrival and were instantly forgiven by the fans who were just eager to welcome them back to Phoenix. 

Check out photos from the show!
Story and photos by Taylor Gilliam

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