Nick Waterhouse takes the El Rey Theater back in time
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 00:10
The men dressed in their finest three-piece suits and quaffed hair. Women showed up in full skirts and teased locks. Together, they all looked to take a trip back to the 1960s for an evening of old soul music by Nick Waterhouse and the Tarots and supporting act the Allah-las.
The San Francisco-based band Nick Waterhouse and the Tarots made a homecoming return to their native town of Los Angels on Sunday night at the El Rey Theater. For the past month, the band has been on a cross-country tour with supporting act and long time friends the Allah-las.
The California-based group the Allah-las plays music that sounds as if it could come from a 1960s record, making dreamy sounding surf songs that are definitive of Southern California.
The group released their debut album in September, which was also produced by Waterhouse.
“[Nick] is a friend of mine from college,” Allah-las drummer Matt Correia said. “We played in a band together in San Francisco.”
During the Allah-las set, Waterhouse made a special appearance, chiming in on tambourine and keyboards for several songs.
Waterhouse then took the stage with his backing band the Tarots, whose main lineup consists of David Moyer on baritone saxophone, George Schafer on tenor saxophone, Jeff Luger on drums, Kyle Stephens on keys and Jack Payne on bass. The addition of two female back-up singers, an extra percussionist and keyboard player rounded out the sound of the band.
The Tarots powered into their set with familiar tunes like “I Can Only Give You Everything” and “I Wanna Know.” The group also threw in a cover of the Allah-la’s “Don’t You Forget It,” adding body to the once stripped down surf song with the addition of the horns and backup singers.
Waterhouse gave a great performance, playing off the energy given by the shouting and dancing crowd members. His vocals ventured into 60s era Motown and soul and was rounded out with the sultry and smooth backing vocals. The addition of Buddy Holly inspired guitar solos and Bo Diddly drum beats added 50s’ keynotes while the horn section gave the songs a 30s’ era big band feel, combining the best of Americana music into one set.
During the set, indie-rock recording artist and long-time friend from San Fransisco Ty Segall joined Nick Waterhouse to play drums for one song. The Allah-las also joined Waterhouse during an encore to cover The Valentino’s song, then turned Rolling Stones hit “It’s All Over Now.”
According to vocalist and guitarist Nick Waterhouse, the bands will continue touring in Europe throughout December before making a first-time trip to Japan in January. Even though the band has never played a show in Japan before, Waterhouse said that he is looking forward to the venture because of the dedication that the Japanese show for classic American music.
“Japan has a certain reverence for Americana,” Waterhouse said.
Even though the tour is putting a strain on the band, with constant traveling and a heavy schedule of shows, Waterhouse said that the reception has been great so far.
“It’s been great watching my group develop,” he said. “It is very satisfying. The same way as making a record is satisfying.”