Los Angeles – Generationals, a new wave duo from New Orleans returned to Los Angeles, after an absence of a few years, to showcase new jams and fan favorites. The Teragram Ballroom, located in downtown Los Angeles was buzzing on this crystal clear night as the true, zealot fans made it out to support the band. Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer are the masterminds and beat makers behind Generationals. They focus on vivid, buoyant snyth-pop tunes. The two core members switch off on vocal duties as well, which always keeps things fresh. The opening band was Raindeer, a psychedelic pop band from Maryland that generated a fair amount of enthusiasm from the crowd. Joyner and Widmer have a deep catalogue of songs to shuffle through and that’s exactly what they did that night. Over the course of 17 songs, Generationals made sure to touch upon each of their 4 LPs and 2 EPs as well as showcasing new tracks, i.e. 2017’s “Avery,” “Turning The Screw,” and “Keep It Low,” all of which are expected to be found on a future fifth LP due out sometime later this year. Generationals may be seasoned veterans, but with new songs coming out and a rejuvenated attitude, the duo, in more ways than one, are new all over again.
The band came out to a dark stage and got things started with their recent single, “Turning The Screw.” It featured heavy snyths and distorted vocals while flashing lights flickered behind. There was an uproarious cheer when the band started “Gold Silver Diamond.” The tune is under the guise of R&B pop. The vocals are upfront, but it’s the infectious beats that carry this tightly constructed tune. “Black Lemon” off the record, Alix, was another favorite. The light beats, airy vocals, and hazy feeling make for one fantastic track that kept the energy alive and strong as the crowd sung along and maintained their dancing ways. In fact, I’m positive there was not a single soul who wasn’t dancing or swaying their bodies to the beats. The band’s sound was absolutely addicting and Generationals had a unique way of conveying songs that had everyone forgetting everything outside the walls of the venue.
One of the band’s earlier tracks found on ActorCaster, “TenTwentyTen,” was warmly greeted as was another one off that record, “Yours Forever.” There was also a moment where Joyner, in attempt to be closer to the fans, stepped down from the stage to perform right in the middle of the crowd. It worked perfectly.
I think the best of the new songs was “Avery.” It has a vintage Generationals feel to it as it explores the band’s sonic palette. It shows a lot of promise for a band with a knack for supercharged pop tunes and crafty songwriting. In a strange dichotomy, “Avery” could have been something you heard from the band years ago yet, at the same time, it feels innovative and current. It just shows Generationals have a grasp on not completely abandoning their original style, but are clever enough to breathe new life into new material.
After concluding their set with “Nobody Could Change Your Mind”, the band swiftly came back for a three-song encore. Two of the songs were found on Heza, “You Got Me” and “Spinoza”. The latter cut lit up the crowd. “Spinoza,” with its dance-to-me vibe written all over it, featured a breakdown toward the end with the following lyrics: “Holding on to no one / Holding on to nothing / Don’t deny it happened / Don’t deny me no.” The band finished the night with “Trust,” an early gem that touches upon some surf-y rock elements. Once again, the audience sang along to closing lyrics, i.e. “My friend Olivia said to me / What’s the use in trusting more than we have to?” We all knew the end was approaching, but man, we didn’t want it to be true. In a fleeting moment, the band thanked everyone and it was suddenly all over with. However, I could tell this LA crowd were longtime fans and had probably seeing the band perform on multiple occasions throughout their career. I’m glad I finally had the chance to see Generationals. They put on a memorable performance. If you want to feel good, listen to Generationals. It’s impossible for them to let you down.
Generationals are currently on a headlining tour until May 1st. Check out their Facebook page for more details.
Photo of Generationals by Sean Kayden
Be sure to follow Best New Bands on Twitter.