See more from the show in Colin Young-Wolff's photo gallery.
Thursday night at the Wiltern, an ample crowd arrived to catch a relatively early show from British band Editors. It was, in many ways, a pivotal moment in the band's career, a chance for the former ones-to-watch to show off their sublime metamorphosis from dark rockers to electronic wizards.
Editors latest album, In This Light and on This Evening, is strikingly different from the band's previous efforts. Where previous works relied on big, brooding guitars, the band's third full-length is probably best application of the minimal synth style prevalent in underground clubs that one might find in a polished rock album. Hearing their newest collection of songs both live and on album, it's hard not to wonder if they have been hanging out at clubs like M/R/X and Killing Spree in L.A. and Wierd in New York. Have they been listening to music by Xeno & Oaklander and Nina Belief in their downtime? The contrast between the old and new material could have been drastic, but it wasn't. Frontman Tom Smith hasn't altered his performance style, he still dances in sharp, strangely frantic moves before slouching intensely over the microphone. The band on the whole hasn't really changed that much either, they're still bombastic, the sound still outsizing the larger venues they now play.
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What was different, though, was the crowd's reaction. Save for single "Papillon," the new songs didn't elicit quite the same crowd response as numbers like "Munich" and "Blood." There was little in the way of screaming or singing and dancing. At various points, and depending on where you were standing, you might have instead heard a cacophony of club conversations. It's one of those aggravating things about concerts three albums into an artist's career, to see that the newest material simply isn't grabbing the audience like the hits do.
It might be a simple matter of time. When you follow bands for a long enough time, you begin notice the patterns in general responses to music. After that first album, it can take even more-than-casual fans a little time to warm-up to the newest tunes, that incubation period will span until said band releases yet another album. That might be the case with Editors, but that's one of those situations that can't be predicted. One can only hope, though, that In This Light and on This Evening does eventually resonate with music listeners. It's a deserving album.