So Much For The City, the debut from Dublin, Ireland’s The Thrills, namedrops more than a few notable California locales—Big Sur, San Diego, Santa Cruz—so West Hollywood’s historic Troubadour club must have felt like a spiritual home away from home for these West Coast-centric rockers. Between songs, vocalist Conor Deasy—who’s nearly a dead ringer for a young Bono—spoke of his love for Los Angeles. But it was the band’s mastery of the Byrds/Gram Parsons sound that best exemplified its unabashed Cali-loving nature.
With the rousing fury of “London Calling” blaring from the PA, The Thrills hit the stage. But unfortunately, the intensity of the band’s performance never approached the level The Clash used to reach. Only when Deasy stood high on a speaker monitor, stomping his feet and clapping his hands over his head to the beat of “One Horse Town,” did the show begin to feel anything like the party it should have been. Perhaps The Thrills’ low-energy stage presence is connected to its strong melancholy side, which gently rose to the surface during songs like “Hollywood Kids.” Or perhaps, the band was a victim of audience lethargy. There were an unusually large number of industry folks at this show, who are generally a more tame lot. The crowd didn’t work very hard to cajole the band out for an encore. It even seemed for a moment that The Thrills wouldn’t come back at all. But they finally returned for an encore that included “Don’t Steal Our Sun.”
Patrick Park opened the show with his unique brand of folk and rock (think The Band), and received a heartening response—for an opening act, at least—especially during “Silver Girl,” a song from his album, Loneliness Knows My Name.