Live Review: Leisure – El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Following the sold-out show from the previous night, the anticipation surrounding Leisure‘s second performance in Los Angeles on October 30th, 2023, was undeniable. As the curtain elegantly lifted at the historic El Rey Theatre, the audience was greeted by the band, all dressed uniformly in sleek black, ready to embark on another memorable musical evening.
The night kicked off with their fourth studio album, Leisurevision, opener “Always”, setting an intimate mood for the evening with the dim-lit stage lighting. Leisure’s gratitude for their Los Angeles fans was evident, as they thanked the crowd for their presence and ensured that they were set for a Sunday night of dancing.
The New Zealand quintet’s groove shone prominently with tracks like “Take You Higher” and the crowd-pleasing “Lonely Nights”, both taken from their third studio album, Sunsetter. The infectious bassline of “Lonely Nights” had everyone swaying, underscoring that Leisure‘s sophisticated pop appeals not only to the ears but also to the soul.
Tracks like “Still Rolling” and “Know You Better” continued the evening’s flow, showcasing the group’s talent for blending genres seamlessly and captivating audiences with their mesmerizing harmonies. Midway, there was a noticeable shift in energy as the band paused to express their enthusiasm for being back in LA. In a delightful twist, they introduced their touring saxophonist, adding another dimension to their rich sound as they transitioned into Leisurevision‘s “Back In Love”.
Listen to Leisure’s “Back In Love” below
Their performance of “Be With You” highlighted the group’s evolution. As Leisure reflected on “Got It Bad”, the lead single from their 2016 self-titled debut album, and mentioned it was their first-ever written song, the audience connected deeply with their sincerity. The catchy bass riff of the song resonated throughout the El Rey, underscoring the reason the bassist took a prominent position on stage.
The evening’s energetic momentum continued with hits like “MONEY”, from Twister, and “SLY”, demonstrating their extensive musical palette. Engaging the audience further, the band initiated a singalong during “Slipping Away”, leading into the evocative rhythms of “Last Dance”. As the night appeared to draw to a close, Leisure delighted the audience with “Feeling Free”.
After a brief encore, the band returned and re-energized the atmosphere with “All Over You” and “Above Me”. The finale, “Flame”, was a sonic spectacle. Amplified by the return of their saxophonist, the sound seamlessly melded with Leisure‘s signature style. As the crowd clapped along to the outro, the bond between the band and the audience was undeniable.
Before making their exit, Leisure made a heartfelt promise to their LA fans – a return to the United States sooner rather than later. As the evening concluded, it was evident that Leisure delivered a soulful journey, leaving attendees eagerly awaiting their return.