It’s not a secret that one of my favorite live shows to date was Body Language at the Echo last February. Since seeing them, I feel I’ve come a long way. I’m taking music and writing more seriously, having graduated from a small Hype Machine blog to keeping a blog of my my own (hint: the one you’re reading now) to writing for the glorious publication that is Grimy Goods. I also have a new job that doesn’t cause me as much distress, but has taught me how to better manage my time and energy. As a silly life milestone, I was excited to cover their show last Friday at Resident as proof to myself that I was moving up. Happily, the show became a celebration.
The night began with duo Wild & Free, who opened for Body Language for a short stint across southern California. At Resident, they used guitars and live bongos to deliver many dance-pop jams, and the crowd ate it up. Their onstage setup seemed a little restrictive, with a table of equipment separating them from the audience, but I can’t complain- they made it work. Two fedoras danced in sync directly in front of the stage, taking up so much space they became their own spectacle. It’s easy to see why Wild & Free is so well-loved; their sound is playful and draws from many influences, including African oh-way-oh’s in their track, “Tropique.”
If anyone in the house doubted Body Language like I had last year, I hope they were as dumbfounded as I was to experience their music live and in the flesh. Even the second time around, it was invigorating. They performed new and old stuff alike, though if you weren’t familiar with their catalogue, you still could have loads of fun dancing til you drop. Their second song of the night featured lyrics that went, “get up on the floor,” but there was just no more room; we were packed like sardines out there. They ended their regular set with “Really Love,” their killer 2015 single, then came out to continue the show with some encore songs, but succumbed to deja vu; an equipment malfunction seemed to cut them short- which is exactly what happened last year. There’s only one conclusion to draw: Body Language gives every show their all, literally.
As far as I feel I’ve come personally, that’s a drop in the bucket of humanity, or even just of the progress of this country. For the three days leading up to this show, happening on average every 24 hours, there had been an act of brutality either coming from or targeting police, usually fatally injuring African Americans. As I learned when I got home that night, it hadn’t stopped there; black men continue to get killed and even peaceful protestors are now being arrested. “LA! If you think Black lives matter, make some muthafucking noise!” lead vocalist, Angelica Bess, shouted during their set. The room erupted. Performing to a sea of faces from many different backgrounds, Body Language provided a brief reprieve from what is now a daily horror. And that’s exactly what we needed: to celebrate life.