Live Review: Real Estate at Los Angeles’ The Fonda Theatre (3/11)

    Real Estate are both chill, weed music dudes and lyrically intellectual indie rockers from New Jersey. The disparity here not only reflects the direct neo-psychedelic, surfy rock sound the band produces, but also their audience: an eclectic mix of folks ranging from high fifteensomethings to suit-clad men in their forties. Also present are couples, friends, and others both local and from afar, a somewhat outstanding amount who commuted some hours on a school night from San Diego.

    Alex Bleeker, Matt Mondanile, Martin Courtney, Jackson Pollis, and Matt Kallman know this themselves: Midway through the performance (and a few others times), chatty bassist Alex Bleeker takes a moment to verbally recognize the immense number of young and old teens spending their “school nights” late in the heart of Hollywood. Who wouldn’t, though? This, their closing tour performance, featured a nice range of tracks from the group’s three albums while managing to play almost all songs from the new Atlas. Opening with the warmhearted-turned-melancholy lines of “I don’t wanna die/ Lonely and uptight” from “Crime”, Courtney and co., under the coolness and warmth of blue and red light, pour their body-slowing bass lines and guitar riffs into the overeager ears of the audience.

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    What comes after those two lines from “Chorus” invites the audience to be whoever Courtney spills his heart to in the track. “Stay with me/ All will be revealed,” he invites fans to follow along into a near-nothing explanation of calmness in “Past Lives”: “Underneath this canopy/ All light above us/ Oh but I can see the sky/ Is not the only thing that changes/ Rapidly.” And, from the upcoming tracks taken from Days (“Municipality”, “Green Aisles”), fans get anti-insight into whatever seemed promised by opener “Crime”. Can this be characterized as a “crime,” though? The answer, which clearly doesn’t lie within lyrics, appears clear in the transfixing “everything’s gonna be alright” vibe of the growingly iconic Real Estate sound. So, in that sense, Real Estate’s “crime” is the most beautifully silly crime conceivable. Moreover, the band commit the now-expected crime of not playing their biggest hit (in this case, “It’s Real”), but it almost goes by unnoticed for a concert of Real Estate, whose tracks all blend together in enough perfect fashion that “Oooooooooh ooh oooooh/ It’s real” would have almost taken away from the congruity of their performance.


    What’s continuously true, though, is the band’s seeming desire to have the best time possible. Bleeker, obsessing over their opening Canadian band, The Shilohs, remarks, for no imperceptible reason, “Canada’s the theme tonight.” Then, returning for their encore, the idea for a theme shifts nostalgically as the band plays hit “Beach Comber” from their debut, Real Estate. “What you want is just outside your reach,” Courtney relates. “You keep on searchin’.” Is Courtney talking to himself, as would be possibly implied in how the band responds to their own “crime”? Who knows, really? What’s true, and effectively represented by how they closed by performing “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” with everyone from The Shilohs, other opening act Kevin Morby, and even the birthday dude who ran the merchandise table, is that Real Estate are young and having a good time, and however much nostalgia they may insinuate, they want you to, too.

    Past Lives
    Green Aisles
    April’s Song
    How Might I Live
    The Bend
    Fake Blues
    Younger Than Yesterday
    Black Lake
    Beneath the Dunes (with small intro from Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”)
    Talking Backwards
    Had to Hear
    Beach Comber
    Only Love Can Break Your Heart (with members of the Shilohs & the Kevin Morby band) [Neil Young cover]