Filter Magazine's Culture Collide Festival Day Three feat. CSS + The Elected + Cameras + Sparkadia + More – Echo Park, Los Angeles (08.10.11)

  • Larry Heath
  • October 11, 2011
  • Comments Off on Filter Magazine's Culture Collide Festival Day Three feat. CSS + The Elected + Cameras + Sparkadia + More – Echo Park, Los Angeles (08.10.11)

My third night at Culture Collide was a rather brief affair due to other engagements, but I got to catch some fantastic performances from a couple of bands I know very well, and a couple others I didn’t know much about at all…

First up were Netherlands based duo Death Letters. With both members under twenty, partying in the USA isn’t the easiest thing to do for the acclaimed pair, but they certainly new how to rock it out regardless. Performing tracks off their new album Post-Historic, they remind me of a young …Trail of Dead – and that’s quite a feat considering there are only two of them. Indeed, they put out a pretty big sound and are easily two of the most energetic performers I’ve seen at the festival so far. A band to watch on the international stage – I have no doubt there are big things in their future!

Meanwhile, things were going off in the Champagne room, with Classixx creating a line out the door for what was an epic dance party. But it was the rare two hour DJ set by Harvey that many came to see. It was epic to say the least. This guy is old school in every sense of the word… in fact, many DJs would claim as to being directly influenced by Harvey himself. And I can certainly understand why. Jumping between a variety of formats, this is a man who mixes with skill and precision, from genre to genre, track to track, to the point where it almost looks like he’s doing nothing at all. He just makes it look easy. And for him it probably is! He’s been doing it for long enough… but for the crowd it’s simply a good time, and when it comes to a DJ set, that’s all that really matters.

I headed to the church next, which I had unfortunately neglected along with quite a few of the festival venues – you can never see it all! – to check out The Elected. The LA-based group, who feature members of Rilo Kiley, are an indie rock force to be reckoned with, holding with them a notable folk and country vibe. The set focused primarily on tracks off of Bury Me In My Rings, which was released back in May, though a splattering of tracks were played from their back catalogue. Performed in the acoustics of the church, this was a particularly beautiful performance from a band who have solidified themselves in the American indie rock movement over the past 7 years – though I don’t believe they have made it down to Australia as of yet! For shame!

Sydney came out to play next with a spectacular debut US performance from a rather tired Cameras. While it seemed they could barely keep their eyes open at points, you would never have known it in their performance. They sounded fantastic in the space. They ran through a short set crammed full of tracks off their EP and new LP, and the packed out room showed them a great deal of support. Will they make it in the USA? Only time will tell… but to now it’s clear that they are giving it their all. Their set ended with their new single “Defeatist” – a perfect song to cap off a great set..

Sparkadia, likewise, made his US debut tonight with an intimate performance as Alex tries to break a new market (now based out the UK, his band has had a good deal of success in Europe). Quite a few tracks were received well by the crowd, in particular “Mary”, which I do reckon sounds better live than on the album. In fact many of the songs were given new layers and new leases of life when performed on stage. Alex himself was quite energetic tonight, as was his backing band, and having the opportunity to see him perform to a room which held about a hundred people was a rare and exciting one for yours truly.

I can’t say I’ve ever been a massive Sparkadia fan, but tonight I was converted into one.

Meanwhile, CSS were putting on one hell of a show at the Echoplex down the road, and we have some photos from the set courtesy of Marc Lemoine. I’ll have more on CSS when I talk about their massive set from the Block Party event on Sunday night! In the meantime, enjoy the photos below by Marc.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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