« 8/9-12: String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks, Colorado | Main | Lollapalooza August 4th-6th Chicago, IL »

August 18, 2007

Overnight Lows in Hollywood, CA - August 17, 2007

Catapulting off the band's momentum stemming from its recent radio play on LA-area rock station giant KROQ, Overnight Lows performed a high energy set in front of an enthusiastic SoCal audience on Friday night at the famed Knitting Factory. Underneath the familiar multicolored lights of the venue, the band's brand of uptempo, punk-sprinkled pop-rock was as energetic as it was contagious throughout the night. Boasting one of the most attractive female vocalists in rock music today in lead singer Jules Larson, Overnight Lows, whose music has been featured on numerous MTV programs, put together a night of consistently higher reaching highs for an audience that was reaching for more. By the end of the night, as the band continues to gain popularity throughout Southern California and beyond through radio play and their live performances, I couldn't help but think that I was witnessing the continued rise of something much bigger for Overnight Lows.


The Knitting Factory audience was an interesting mix of early high schoolers (at least I think, kids are such giants nowadays), 20-something hipsters, people you wouldn't want to cross in a dark alley (put me in this category, not because I would be intimidating, but more because no one wants to exchange fashion tips for 15 minutes with Frodo Baggins' Korean cousin), and even respectable looking parent-types lining the sides of the standing room area. Seeing as the band's show conflicted with the premier of High School Musical 2, I was impressed to see all the smiling, braces-lined grills of many a middle to high schooler in the audience. Overnight Lows: 1, High School Musical: 0 (I'm soooaaaringggg, flyyyinggggg...Why the hell do I know that?...*fumbles around while hiding his High School Musical soundtrack* ... Sometimes, I am too much for myself).


On a random side note, a large contingent of the audience appeared to be from La Canada High School, which is located in an upscale area north of LA. Some were repping in full force with city emblazoned t-shirts. Others were completely hipstered out, with untucked button downs, loosely composed ties (good job, kids! I just learned how to tie a tie last year, so you're ahead of the game), enthusiastically downing a 1 gallon bottle of water and Red Bulls amongst each other, which I assume is why so many high schoolers get mono (other than making out, obvi.). What's interesting is that on the East Coast, you "rep your hood" if you are from "the hood," but on the West Coast, you rep your hood if you have money...  said the transported East Coaster who loves his Prada sunglasses.

Man, I've sold out. Anyways, back to the show.


With the venue abuzz with conversation, I noticed that I wasn't the only one covering the band this night, as other photographers staked out a spot stage-side with me to take in the quickly up and coming band. As lead singer Jules took the stage, it was shocking to find that the former blonde (which I knew from their music video for "The Breaks") was now a brunette, but not just any brunette, a very hot brunette! (VERY hot... very... like so hot it could make you emo and go out to buy hair extensions and take a trip to MAC because you're not that hot) And as she announced "We're Overnight Lows!", the show was officially off and running. The super fan standing in front of me, whose reaction entailed her jumping up and down nonstop for an hour, ruining 90% of the pictures I took, was not alone in her enthusiasm for the band as Jules' introduction brought the whole audience to life with their eyes affixed on the stage.

Opening up the show with "Sing Sing," an upbeat track that immediately draws vocal comparisons to No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani, the band established itself to any newcomers as a more edgy version of a pop-rock band with a SoCal punk twist. With Jules' studio quality live vocals leading the way, the band consistently used heavy bass lines paired with varying drum beats like early No Doubt (minus the Ska sound, no "Spiderwebs" here) all night long to put together performances that I couldn't believe haven't gone more mainstream by now. In tracks like "How Do You Feel," which could easily add to the soundtrack of a teen movie or perhaps even new reality show Newport Harbor (Chrissy, OMG girl, you need to stand up to your dad! ...And you have great teeth...and I love you...), Overnight Lows proved time and again that they're more than capable of completely engaging an audience with their incredible stage presence during their live performances.


While their studio recordings are strong and showcase the band's polished sound, all of the band members are so active all over the stage - interacting with each other, the audience, and almost weaving in and out of the crowd by performing at the very edge of the stage - making their live performances an absolute joy to witness. As grown men performed a less urban version of krumping (A little "Stomp The Yard" with a little square dancing) with a little Beyonce "uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no" mixed in, and dedicated teen fans leaped in excitement at the first notes of every track, Overnight Lows returned all of that energy back to the fans through their spot-on performances that shows that they were serious about their music and unafraid of one day taking on something much bigger. It's a big pet peeve of mine when bands don't take performances seriously at smaller venues and luckily, Overnight Lows did none of that tonight as they performed with the utmost energy and professionalism all night.

"My Oh My" started out with a distinct guitar intro, only to really come alive when Jules' vocals get unleashed onto the track. Vocally, Jules is very different than many of the artists I've heard this summer and it is tough to compare in pure vocal ability to a Faith Hill or a Carrie Underwood. However, for this genre, the edginess and intensity that she pours into each note couldn't be more perfect for the band's style of music. Because of the bands' energetic style, nearly every track asked a lot of its lead singer vocally, and she answered the call time and again throughout the live set.


The highlight of the night came in the performance of "The Breaks," which had just debuted on LA radio station KROQ earlier in the week. In a perfect radio track that still manages not to sell out the band's essence for a mainstream sound, the well-arranged track deserves to be the band's first mainstream hit. With its verses that show a different dimension to both the band's upbeat sound and Jules' vocals and its unbelievably catchy chorus that will stay in your head long after your first listen, the band performed the song with a hard bass line and thumping drum beat that was a welcome addition to what is already an extremely strong track. I encourage anyone who is looking for a fresh sound in today's crowded music space to check out "The Breaks" to introduce themselves to the band.


Overnight Lows closed out the show with two distinctly different tracks, "Goodbye Song" and "Castle in the Sand." In "Goodbye Song," which actually was the pre-goodbye song, Jules took a seat at the keyboard accompanied by her fantastic bandmates, to play a punk-rock sounding ballad that was a refreshing change to the band's normally hard charging tracks that make you want to drive fast with a smile on your face before you spend an afternoon at Mystic Tan and getting manis and pedis done on Robertson. Of course, it's hard to necessarily call these songs ballads, because they all bring a distinct rock edge to the table, but it was good to see the band stretch its sound successfully. "Castle in the Sand" was the perfect high energy track to close out the show, as it ranked up there with "The Breaks" as the top performance on the night. The band was absolutely rocking out on stage, as lead guitarist Joz took stage front and center many a time as he did throughout the night for his guitar solos. Jules took on some very, very big vocals that would compare to and even surpass those of any top female lead in this genre. As flashbulbs popped throughout the performance, I was actually thrilled to see that many of those in attendance felt the same way that I did about the successful high energy set.


Overnight Lows' final performance defined what they managed to pull off all night, maintain an incredible stage presence and identity to pair with a truly infectious sound. While much of my male-slanted gaze was instantly and unfairly (but justifiably) drawn to the band's lead singer, it was the chemistry of the whole four person band that made this such a great set. From the gripping bass lines to rapid drum beats provided by Jeff and Derrick respectively, to the numerous guitar solos that dueled with with Jules' vocals, based on Friday night and looking at the reactions of their fans in attendance, Overnight Lows has a sound that first time listeners won't soon forget. As the band continues its rise in the SoCal scene and beyond, I look forward to once saying "I saw them before they got really big!" and witnessing what I hope will be a well-deserved meteoric rise in the industry for Overnight Lows.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Overnight Lows in Hollywood, CA - August 17, 2007:



Congrats OLOWS! You're loved as far away as Orlando, FL. Looking forward to crossing paths again...


good stuff. i now must go check them out!


I was the superfan that ruined 90% of your photos. And I just want to make something clear, OLOWS PLAY FOR THE SUPERFANS. if you don't like it, too bad! Ha! Besides I was next to you, not in front of you, you chose to move behind ME. If you're going to be "journalist" for music shows, get used to it.


Another HUGE fan from Orlando, FL here...Have listened to your CD once a day since October...NO JOKE!


Yes! I saw them play at Safari Sams recently and they blew me away. Anyone who hasn't seen them live yet needs to get their asses to an Overnight Lows show!


I've been to several Overnight Lows shows and I'm glad they are finally getting some recognition! They rock and so do you Dave!


cool! great job babe!


cool. another great review.


Nice review man! cool pics, middle schoolers and high schoolers with braces-lined grills....ouch man, hahaha


man, i would LOVE to see that girls calves who jumped for an hour and a half in front of you. I bet they are very defined and sexy. You were lucky to be behind such a athletic spiecmen! Your writing continues to crack me up!


great post dave - felt like i was there - actually i was - heard them on kroq last night - i love the breaks - that song is damn catchy - word.




love them! oh so talented and fabulous!


Wow, so detailed, do you like stay up late at night researching or are you like some savant who knows all this? Like Rainman, your site rocks. Btw. :)


And even John Stamos talk about John that way!

tiffany silver

When I was in my late teens a friend of mine, an elite athlete, gave me the most profound yet simple advice that changed the way I would view myself forever. He told me "You yourself have to think you're great because no one else is going to tell you that you are."

viagra online

without doubt the best genre of music, throughout history great exponents have given the best of his talent and will be remembered by all his major themes, for decades in the radio will ring in our players, etc. Thank God for rock music.

The comments to this entry are closed.

© 2010 Billboard. All rights reserved.
Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.