Dwntwn Play LA: Find Out Why the Letter ‘O’ Sucks and What Makes Dwntwn Worth Seeing Live

Dwntwn, a Los Angeles synth pop band with no O’s (“because fuck O’s!” shouts lead vocalist Jamie Leffler) opened The Echoplex in LA last night, supporting ASTR and The Knocks. Here’s what went down…

Dwntwn at The Echoplex

Illuminated by three coral-colored lightbulbs, the members rose from the smoke and (minus a few technical difficulties) captured the attention of everyone in the room. By the second song, “Til Tomorrow,” I could hear “I like them” being whispered from crowd-goers behind me. Looking to my right, some were mouthing every word.

The minimalist setting allowed for dance moves on stage and a glowing light show, accompanying Dwntwn’s warm and “dreamy” synth pop that they’ve made a name for.

The band isn’t afraid to utilize the angelic vocals of Leffler to carry along bubbly tunes, throwing in harmonies with the help of guitarist Robert Cepeda. Backing the vocals with solid drum beats was drummer Dan Vanchieri and keyboardist Chris Sanchez added interesting synth effects identical to Leffler’s vocals. Put all of these elements together and you’ll find yourself in a venue in Echo Park, toe-tapping to some undeniably good indie pop arrangements that you can’t help but sing along to.

Although they noted that they hadn’t played the venue in a while, it was apparent they drew a decent number of fans who would cheer for favorites like “Skins” and “Missing You,” both on their recently released self-titled EP. While “Skins” was an earworm of a melody with synths reminiscent of the X-Files theme song, “Missing You” took a folk-y turn and Leffler’s tambourine had everyone clapping along.

Ending the set, the band brought back an old favorite off their 2012 EP, The Red Room, titled “Stood Me Up.” The beginning of the track sounded like the band wanted to wind down and end things slowly, but instead, they quickly picked it up and ended on a high note, persuading much of the audience to wander by their merch table afterwards looking to buy an EP.

With light and airy vocals, great harmonies, and catchy chorus lines, everyone in the audience couldn’t help but smile and bounce along to the upbeat tunes. The band’s persona surprisingly matched their sound as well; they even suggested a wine-drinking parking lot party after their set. Even I was tempted to find that mysterious party afterwards.

Upcoming Shows:

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Mon. 8/18 // Dwntwn @ Pub Rock Live, Scottsdale, AZ

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Tue. 8/19 // Dwntwn @ Soda Bar, San Diego, CA

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Wed. 8/20 // Dwntwn @ Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA

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Fri. 8/22 // Dwntwn @ Beauty Bar, Las Vegas, NV

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Sat. 8/23 // Dwntwn @ Peeve’s Public House & Local Market, Fresno, CA

(FREE SHOW!)

 

Article by Amanda Erwin

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