Los Angeles band Sir Sly spent the past three years writing their newest album Don’t You Worry, Honey and there was no better way to kick off its release than playing a show right in their home town. El Rey Theatre was packed almost shoulder-to-shoulder on June 29 with people craving the new sounds Sir Sly had to offer.
With a capacity of less than a thousand, El Rey Theatre is the perfect venue for both up-and-coming bands like Sir Sly and concert-goers who enjoy a great view no matter where they stand. With three slightly-varying levels just on the first floor, you hardly need to worry about an obstructed view by someone a foot taller than you. And for the people who would rather enjoy the music while sitting at a table with friends, they’ll find that the balcony section on the second floor is the perfect place for them.
They entered the stage at 9:30pm, just 30 minutes after their album was released worldwide. Frontman, Landon Jacobs, dressed in a red sweater (on a California summer night, mind you) while his fellow members, Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen, wore all white. Their stage set included a giant glowing brain surrounded by color-changing lights which really set the vibe for their euphoric radio success, High.
This audience had the pleasure of hearing several new songs live while, at the same time, many people around the world streamed the studio versions for the first time. In spite of it being the first time they’re hearing the songs, you’d be fooled by the way listeners danced that night. Sir Sly managed to produce totally different sounds while still staying true to their alternative style. Watching and hearing them play their new songs really got me pumped to listen to it all again on Spotify on the way home.
Everyone has a song that means a lot to them whether it relates to a personal experience or generates emotions that no other song can. The most meaningful song from the new album is absolutely Oh Mama, a heartfelt tribute to Landon’s mother who passed away in recent years. As if the lyrics are not already saddening, the song includes a voicemail from his mother which Landon calls “the greatest verse of all time.” Played as their second to last song, his mother’s words: “hey Lovebug” and “I miss you terribly,” made sure that there was not a dry eye in the room. But even with a somber melody toward the end of the night, they knew how to pump up the crowd for their final song.
Sir Sly’s song High received plenty of attention leading up to the show (including a Snapchat filter featuring the song) so it was no surprise that the room was roaring with people singing along. The crowd danced and sang so enthusiastically when they played it the first time that just Sir Sly decided to play it again for one last upbeat dance session, but this time with a much more genuine feeling when Landon lit up a joint and passed it onto the crowd.
Although this was my third time seeing them, there was not a single dull moment. During the show I watched hundreds of people dance to songs they’ve never heard, sing songs that they did know at the top of their lungs, and be moved to tears all within an hour and a half. It takes real talent and true passion for creating music to make people experience the same emotions as the ones present when writing and recording the songs. With the profound experience that they provide not just in the show but with the album itself, Sir Sly’s passion and talent are impossible to miss.