[LIVE REVIEW] The Horrors @ The Mayan Theatre
Towards the end of their 75 minute set Wednesday night at the Mayan, The Horrors achieved an energy that seemed to percolate for the slow-boil first hour of their performance. The let-loose moment came in the form of a massive release that served as a proper British send-off in to the night.
Throughout The Horrors set, however, there were many moments of near lift-off thanks be to the subtly soaring anthemic songs from their 2014 release, Luminous. And luminous the presentation was. Backed by a well-cobbled wall of analog lights, they were fronted by the understated drainpipe trouser-wearing frontman Faris Badwan.
It felt at times as if these once Mercury Prize nominated bandmates aimed to channel an Echo and the Bunnnymen "Lips Like Sugar" vibe, without losing sight of their old and new melting pot palette. It was a brew that a few times itself echoed the distinct 80s flavor of John Hughes, especially via encore opener "So Now You Know".
With a listen loud or with headphones album like Luminous, one may wonder if nuanced studio layers would be justly replicated live. Synth man Tom Cowan aptly succeeded with such wizardry, rebirthing their signature textures in the confines of the stage performance to fill out and fill in the musical backdrop of The Horrors' in-person persona.
Newest album track "Sleepwalk" kept the pace mid-set, with an intro that suggested that the levee was fixin' to break before it quickly relented, surrendering to a more modern looping synth swirl. Meanwhile, beanpole Badwan laid low, relatively speaking, only to later raise his microphone stand as if he were summoning The Power of Greyskull.
Sadly, the Sahara-tent-ready disco ball (it was easily larger than the drum set) only descended for a mid set cameo before retracting into the Mayan Theater's decorative rafters. But it did its job. The crowd - though teased - was prepped for their frenetic, punch-you-in-the-face coda of "Moving Further Away", a song whose energy injection just may have startled those of the LA faithful who remained behind for the payoff.