words: Rula Eskaf | photos: Red Bull Content Pool
A crowd of people were gathered outside Exchange LA, bearing the cold, in downtown LA on Tuesday to dance the night away to the electronic stylings of Red Bull Sound Select artists Phantoms, The Flavr Blue, and headliner Kiesza. When the doors opened, the crowds filed in and packed tight to the stage to get a good view and a good space to dance. All around, screens were lit up with ads from the upcoming shows for the Red Bull month of sound, 30 Days In LA, and when the lights finally dimmed the crowd buzzed with excitement.
First to take the stage were the LA native duo Vincent Pergola and Kyle Kaplan, otherwise known as Phantoms. They immediately set the mood with a deep, pounding bass line that sounded like a heartbeat. The young, sharply dressed duo made the crowd sway and dance to the sounds of their hypnotic voices, impressive light show and glow in the dark drum sticks that pounded away on electronic drum machines. Next up was The Flavr Blue. Originally from Seattle Washington, the local crowd welcomed the three-piece ensemble with open arms. Fronted by a small woman with a big voice, the group played music from their various EPs, a few new songs, plus a cover of “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake. During the set, the band rotated amongst the instruments and singing. All three members wowing us with larger than life voices, creative music, and hypnotic harmonies. The band were later joined by local artist, Young Murphy, and perform together.
While the audience waited for Kiesza to take the stage, bodies packed in tightly to get a better view of the 26-year old, fiery Canadian born redhead. First to take the stage was her band, taking their places behind their instruments, while two dancers came out and took their place on the stage. As the music started the crowd’s attention was drawn up the stairs by the stage as Kiesza came stomping down in knee high Doc Martins that look like she was practically born in them. As she performed her high energy set, she danced along with her backup dancers the entire hour long performance, feeding off the energy from the crowd. She performed songs from her first album Sound Of a Woman, released in 2014 on Lokal Legend. She thrilled the audience with her live performances of “Hideaway”, “No Enemiesz”, and the album’s title track. Her passion for her art and her followers came through as she took time to shake hands with the crowd, restart a song she was unsatisfied with, and even sign an autograph for a faithful fan. The biggest cheer came as she announced that her plans for 2016 included a second album that she intends to start working on.