Electric Guest’s Asa Taccone is not very tall, a fact that endeared him greatly to several girls in the front row of the band’s Friday set. “He’s so cute and tiny!” one giggled.
But for a small package, Taccone brought a vivacious energy to his performance, in particular with his groovy dancing, which was perfectly in sync with his band’s easygoing style. Also helpful was the fact that Taccone — who was born in Berkeley and calls Jorma Taccone of The LonelyTaccone brought a vivacious energy to his performance, in particular with his groovy dancing, which was perfectly in sync with his band’s easygoing style. Island his brother — has a truly wonderful voice that is both silky smooth and seamless in its jumps from baritone to falsetto melody lines.
Serving as a perfect example was “This Head I Hold” — a falsetto-driven, funky tune that shares some stylistic similarities to Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still.” Continuing the falsetto trend was “Oh Devil,” rising high enough to make the air strength behind the vocals increasingly impressive. The song features Devin Di Dakta with a Shaggy-esque interluding rap — ported through the stage’s speakers as a backing track at the festival — making the whole package easily dance-worthy for the assembled crowd.
Every Electric Guest song is, to a degree, upbeat, but perhaps none so much as “Waves,” off the band’s first album Mondo. With a natural triple clap beat and Motown sensibilities, the track brings together all the elements that make the band compulsively listenable.
Plenty of bands bring a well-played and fun instrument set to their performances, but Taccone understood well the secret key to festival success is, primarily, smiling and being cute. Ultimately, the band was playing to a crowd that didn’t know it well (though they cheered rambunctiously upon discovering Taccone was from the Bay Area). So when Taccone brought his mom out on stage during their final feel-good song “Dear to Me” for a hug and dance — ”It’s her birthday tomorrow!” he yelled — it lowered the fan-artist barrier imposed by the massive stage and reminded everyone that the band members were just people, too. And fun-loving, caring, good-at-dancing people at that.
Electric Guest is a band on the rise, bolstered by continuing late-night TV performances and having Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) as a mentor. But what will truly cement the band is, as it always is, a live presence that is both welcoming and engaging.