Streaming Concert Watch 1/27: Local Natives, Sam Smith and More

Local Natives at Innings Fest in 2018
Local Natives at Innings Fest in 2018 Photo by Kelsee Becker
James Harden, George Springer and now... there's talk of Deshaun Watson leaving Houston, too? 2021 was supposed to be an improvement over 2020, but in the world of Houston sports that just hasn't been the case so far. Fortunately, there's plenty of good music to live-stream that will take your mind off the aforementioned losses. Keep your heads up out there, folks.

Local Natives
Live-Streaming – 27 January

In 2010, Local Natives burst onto the scene with Gorilla Manor. The SoCal rockers were declared indie darlings seemingly overnight, and a nationwide tour through small venues like the now-defunct Mango’s quickly sold-out. Since then, Local Natives have released another four records and, in late 2020, a collaborative EP with electronic duo Classixx. More than a decade later, Local Natives’ harmonies remain luxurious and their lyrics compelling. See them perform via BandsInTown Plus tonight.

Sam Smith
Live-Streaming – 28 January

You wouldn't know it by their music, but Sam Smith is actually a pretty happy person in concert. For years, I heard the London-born singer-songwriter croon about heartache on the likes of "Stay With Me" and "Too Good at Goodbyes," so I expected their live performance to be a bit forlorn. But Smith and their wildly talented bandmates somehow turned the show into a wild party, and I left the venue with a newfound appreciation for their music. Smith will perform tomorrow night at a digital music festival – benefiting FareShare, which combats hunger and food waste – alongside Liam Gallagher, Flogging Molly and more.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Live-Streaming – 29 January

Formerly a quintet, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah became a solo project following the release 2014's Only Run. Less than a decade after the band’s eponymous debut generated quite a bit of buzz, vocalist Alec Ounsworth was left the sole remaining member of the Philadelphia-born indie outfit. His latest offerings boast a moodier atmosphere than CYHSY's early work, but the electronic- and synth-infused indie rock endures. Ounsworth is scheduled to celebrate the release of his new album New Fragility with a live performance on Friday.

Jimmy Eat World
Live-Streaming – 29 January

In late 2019, Jimmy Eat World released its 10th studio album, Surviving. And although the Arizona rockers aren’t as big of a name as they were when “The Middle” and “Sweetness” launched them into the limelight nearly 20 years ago, they remain one of the best bands in the alternative/emo genre. Their latest release runs a tight 36 minutes, sporting 10 tracks that sound simultaneously fresh and familiar. This Friday, the quartet will live-stream another “Phoenix Sessions” performance, highlighting their fifth studio album Futures.

Flying Lotus
Live-Streaming – 30 January

Steven Ellison — better known by the moniker Flying Lotus — has put together quite the resume over the past 15 years. The Los Angeles-based producer released five records between 2006 and 2014, ranging from surreal background noise to progressive, spoken-word rap. His sixth outing, Flamagra, received critical acclaim in 2019, so much so that he later put out an instrumental version of the album. Fans of experimental hip-hop can watch him perform via BandsInTown Plus on Saturday night.
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Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.
Contact: Matthew Keever