Moon Taxi, Nashville, Tennessee’s indie-alternative rock band, played an incredibly energetic, fun and dancey show at the El Rey in Los Angeles last Friday night. Starting out with a Van Halen-esque intro, the use of lots of reverb, and numerous high jumps by lead vocalist Trevor Terndrup, the band quickly reminded Los Angeles that Nashville isn’t just about country music anymore.
The five-piece band matured from playing college shows in Nashville to a popular act at music festivals around the country, including Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Outside Lands, to name a few. Over the years, Moon Taxi’s sound, has evolved from jam rock to somewhere between Kings of Leon and Imagine Dragons. Needless to say, eleven years later and with four studio albums under their belt, these boys have built quite the following.
The opening band, Too Many Zeuz, joined Moon Taxi with their horns and extravagant outfits for a couple of songs, including their new hit single “Two High.” Moon Taxi also covered a couple of old classics on Friday night, including the Eagles’ “Hotel California” and an abbreviated “Imagine” by John Lennon. Furthermore, drummer Tyler Ritter showed off his impressive skills with a drum solo covering Daft Punk. But what the audience clearly found most captivating was their own song “Morocco,” inspiring the whole room to loudly sing-along.
What this says is that, although appreciated, the cover songs were not necessary. Moon Taxi’s own material is far more interesting and good enough to keep a room entertained for the duration of a full set. It’s the band’s charm and approachability that make them especially endearing and help them stand out in the crowded world of indie-rock. And while it doesn’t hurt that these boys are also winningly handsome, it’s their preserved down-to-earth vibe and honest aptitude for music that will continue to help them break through to their audience’s hearts – even in Los Angeles, where we often value looks over talent. These boys are the real thing and they’ve got what it takes to keep growing.