Elbow, Air Traffic

Avalon, May 9, 2008

Photos and words by Timothy Norris

Shortly before Elbow took the stage Friday night for the final show of their latest North American tour, someone asked me, “Why aren’t Elbow bigger than they are?” I've got no good answer for that. Although I'm a relatively recent fan to their music (beginning with 2005’s Leaders of The Free World), there's little doubt that Elbow's music is anything but top notch on a number of levels.

Their Friday night set in Hollywood emphasized their musicianship through delicacy and nuance of their delivery. Vocalist Guy Garvey led the band through a sonically rich set playing many songs from their latest release The Seldom Seen Kid, a few of my favorites from Leaders and a couple of others from the back catalog I was less familiar with, but that many in the crowd knew by heart.

Late in the evening, Garvey asked the audience to turn towards the sound booth where Danny was at the helm to applaud his graces. It's an unusual acknowledgment for a band to make from the stage, but Garvey was right: The sound was impeccable, and the applause showed that the crowd agreed. Garvey also struck the right balance with his on stage banter (no easy feet), and got everyone to join in the sing along to “One Day Like This,” leaving everyone feeling quite jovial.

So why is Elbow not bigger than they? I still can't answer that. I can say that their music sounded huge and majestic inside the Avalon Friday, and for those of us in the sell-out crowd, that was all that mattered.

Air Traffic opened the show playing songs from their album Fractured Life. Photos of Air Traffic follow:

Photos and words by Timothy Norris

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly