Pacific Avenue deserves “Flowers” after their show

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Pacific Avenue Live Show Review

Photos + Words // Jack Stenzel 

Words // Will Bollini

Utterly beautiful controlled chaos: this feels like the only way to sum up a Pacific Avenue show at the Moroccan Lounge. Early set times didn’t hamper the Australian alternative rock group, who made their first American appearance in LA with a thrashing set that lit up downtown LA relatively early on Thursday afternoon. Hailing from outreaches of New South Wales, Australia but sporting 300,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, the group took the stage in front of a frothing crowd with a clear swagger and hopes of wreaking havoc at a storied venue.

As with any foreign act, it is a big deal for them to break into the American market and come and tour here. Of course, the historic first stop and proving ground for any ambitious indie rock act led them to The Moroccan Lounge. Composed of Harry O’Brien on vocals and guitar, Ben Fryer on lead guitar, Jack Kay on bass and vocals, and Dom Littrich on drums, the four characters coalesce seamlessly on stage as one loud conglomerate of tie dye and rhythm. Their long songs are a welcome call back to remorseless rock, with plenty of time for solos during Beatles inspired arrangements. Ballads like “Excuse Me” released in 2018 were a fan favorite, and led nicely into “Leaving for London”, a beautiful single off the album Flowers, by which this tour is propped up on and seeks to promote. The album, which dropped a year ago, celebrates the groups refined song structure and a complete project that retains their unapologetic sense of rocking.

As they vibed with the crowd, their balance of power and groove took over the show gained a nervous, almost falling-off-the- train tracks type of momentum. Standouts include O’Brien certainly had the swagger and silky vocal of a veteran frontman and Littrich held the train on the tracks without ever even minutely letting go of a Dave Growl-like aggression.

Maybe most impressive was the moves of the band members. Unchoreographed yet somehow in sync, group members took turns hurling and twisting their bodies and instruments the whole set. The inspired thrusting and spinning climaxed when opener Kyle Rising was brought out to assist in belting out a moving rendition of “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. The ceaseless movement never sacrificed the incredible tone and balance that kept attendees moving’ and groovin’ throughout the show.

Buzzing fans waited after in the bar area to meet band members, who took their time coming out. General consensus was obvious, the ferocity, sweet melodies, and cohesion both musically and physically of Pacifc Avenue proved to the crowd that night that they were destined for bigger stages. Despite all their top streaming cities being located in Australia, Pacific Avenue captured the imagination of Los Angeles with a classic, spirited performance that left everyone in attendance with good memories and group keep their eye on.

*Some keen fans made sure to inform me this was in fact not their first American show as promoted from the stage, as they had sneakily played in San Francisco the night before.

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