The red curtain-draped stage of The Bootleg proved to be the perfect intimate setting for Treetop Flyers’ first LA show. The colored lights coming off of the upside-down “cocktails” sign above the bar and the wood-paneled walls gave the venue a country-rock feel that paired well with the laidback 1970s sound of the British five-piece band.
All Photos by Owen Ela
The show started off with “Things Will Change”, a “Ventura Highway”- reminiscent tune that embodies all the folk and sunshine of the canyons of Southern California which inspired their debut album The Mountain Moves. The smooth harmonies and upbeat melody of the song encouraged the small but enthusiastic crowd of indie rockers and modern hippies to bob their heads and tap their feet. The head bobbing continued all the way through to the playful “shoop shoop”s of “Postcards,” a song which showcased the band’s ability to be both wholesome and tons of fun. The twanging of the guitar while lead vocalist Reid Morrison sings lines like “stuck down in a nowhere town / with a fever of 103” gave the song a sort of nostalgic country vibe present in most of the songs on their album. The heavy late ’60s-’70s influence on the band is so discernible that about halfway through the set, a lively fan yelled out a reference to Lynrd Skynrd shouting, “Freebird!” Morrison just gave the audience an amused half-smile and answered simply “that happens sometimes.”
“Postcards” was followed up by the slower beats of “Making Time” and “Waiting on You.” Those two, plus “Rose is in the Yard” made up the most soulful parts of the evening. Morrison’s voice was able to croon “it’s already gone, that’s why I’m standing on making time” with all the tenderness and delicacy of an apology, while the melody kept at it with a hopeful soul/rock/country blend. As the night was coming to a close, it seemed the audience was becoming more and more invested in the music. By the time the Simon & Garfunkel-esque “Is It All Worth It” played, eyes were closing and hips were a-swinging. On this particular track, guitarist Laurie Sherman’s deeper, smoother voice offset Morrison’s folkier set of pipes, creating a beautiful dynamic and even more beautiful harmonies.
The guys finished it off with an epic rendition of “Haunted House” complete with a deliberately slow-moving intro, an awesome build-up to a lengthy instrumental in which drummer Tomer Danan absolutely killed it, and gorgeous acapella moments from Morrison. Bass player Matthew Starritt got the crowd clapping right from the beginning and it all ended in the room joining in celebratory dance and applause.
All in all, Treetop Flyers have a stage presence that personifies all the qualities of their music. From their shaggy hair to the their embroidered t-shirts, they exude a mellow, vintage, unbelievably cool energy that renders them classic, yet refreshing, in an age of synthesizers and auto-tune.
All Photos by Owen Ela
Opening Band:The Futures League
Things Will Change
Waiting on You
Houses are Burning
Is it All Worth it
Storm Will Pass
Rose is in the Yard
She’s Gotta Run