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G#’s Musical Radar: The Naked and Famous put on an energetic set on March 30

The opening set for Blink-182 was filled with cutting-edge synths and exuberant indie-pop.

By Grant Sharples | April 13, 2017

Tags: Concerts Music

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The Naked and Famous is an indie-electronic group from New Zealand known for its catchy synth-pop style and memorable lyrics. It performed nine songs prior to the headlining set by pop-punk act Blink-182 on March 30 at the Silverstein Eye Center Arena in Kansas City.

The quintet played a total of five songs from its debut album from 2010, Passive Me, Aggressive You, which set a standard for indie-electro artists everywhere. The singles “Young Blood” and “Punching in a Dream” were practically ubiquitous, accompanied by other memorable tracks such as “Girls Like You,” “All of This” and “No Way.”

The Naked and Famous also performed some of their latest material from their 2016 album, Simple Forms. “Laid Low” incorporates double-bass drumming, cutting-edge synth sounds and echoing vocal work. Also played were “Higher,” which resembles a modern reworking of “Young Blood” and their 2013 single “Hearts Like Ours.”

The crowd definitely recognized the band’s more popular material, but wasn’t as acquainted with the band’s latest work. The Naked and Famous performed with unforgettable exuberance and accuracy, even when the audience didn’t reciprocate. The live set remarkably resembled the band’s digital recordings, which is a rare occurrence for many modern musical acts.

The Naked and Famous’ set fluency was also noteworthy. The band did a wonderful job creating a balanced setlist that showcased its three records. While the majority of the set focused on Passive Me, Aggressive You, the quintet additionally played a handful of songs from Simple Forms and its 2013 sophomore record, In Rolling Waves.

Even though The Naked and Famous wasn’t the main attraction of the evening, its overall performance outdid that of nostalgic Blink-182. The headlining set called out to my seventh-grade self, as that band was my favorite at the peak of my junior high punk phase, but The Naked and Famous definitely stole the show.

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