Local Natives Perform Public Rooftop Concert as a 'Thank You' to Los Angeles

Renata Raksha
Local Natives

The show was a "thank you to Los Angeles for being the most creative city in the world right now, and our home," said the band's Taylor Rice.

Los Angeles indie rockers Local Natives performed a free public show on a rooftop for their hometown Thursday evening, rallying roughly 1,000 fans to their Silver Lake rehearsal space for the un-permitted spectacle. 

The performance -- which the band had admittedly expected to get cut short -- lasted nearly an hour and featured a number of new songs off the quintet's upcoming third studio album, Sunlit Youth, as well as older favorites. 

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Singer and guitarist Taylor Rice told Billboard before the concert they band pulled the stunt (which had been promoted on social media the day before and live streamed on Facebook) as a thank you to their hometown as well as celebrate the spirit of their uplifting new song "The Fountain of Youth," which was released Thursday. 

"We wanted to play on the roof of our old rehearsal space to say thank you to Los Angeles for being the most creative city in the world right now, and our home," he said. "To celebrate the release of 'Fountain of Youth,' this is what we want to do. It's easy to be cynical right now, but we need to be hopeful and idealistic. It's up to us, and people younger than us, to change the world into the world we want. To quote Beyoncé today, 'Hate will not win.'" 

Before the band had even started, a mass of fans had filled the lawn and pavement surrounding the quaint standalone one-story hillside building that had has painted blue to match their new album's cover art. More fans spilled out down the sloping driveway onto the street and sidewalks below, as well watching from the adjacent apartment complex and its rooftop. 

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After opening with "Past Lives," followed by "Wide Eyes" and Sunlit Youth single "Villainy," Rice spoke to the audience reiterating his peaceful sentiments, introducing "Fountain of Youth" saying "we need to be hopeful and realistic and optimistic right now, that's what this song is about."

About five songs in the band was clearly surprised their performance was still going. Rice noted, "I didn't think we were gonna get this far, were gonna play a few more songs for you guys," before starting into "Heavy Feet."

The expectation -- maybe anticipation -- that the show would get the clampdown was never fulfilled. The closest to any police action came when a helicopter circled around once overhead and flew away. The laid-back event was seemingly quite welcome in the hip neighborhood, with a courteous Rice even asking the apartment residents if they were OK with the loud volume. 

The show's climax came with its final song, the more raucous "Sun Hands," during which Rice shimmied down the side of the building to crowd surf over the audience below. It was an exciting finale for a one-of-a-kind event, while staying much in line with how it all played out -- largely positive, peaceful and inoffensive. 

"The response was overwhelming," Rice said afterwards, praising his love and thanks for Los Angeles. "I can't believe the cops didn't shut us down; I can't believe how many people came."