HEALTH has never been a band that believed in the conventional, and that aversion to predictability has rewarded them with a fervent fanbase. That same fanbase showed up in force as HEALTH closed out their WHEELS OF FEAR tour in their hometown of Los Angeles. The resulting show was a triumph unto itself.
It’d be tacitly incorrect to claim that HEALTH is a bright or happy band. And in general, this concert wasn’t going to change that perception. But in an unexpected twist, many of the songs had a brighter spin on them, which helped to keep the experience fresh for dedicated fans of the group. In particular “MEN TODAY” and “PSYCHONAUT” were pretty intensely modified, with “PSYCHONAUT” featuring a solid wall of noise at the front. The crowd at the sold-out Teragram Ballroom absolutely ate it up, and the changes helped add an element of excitement for an audience that was well acquainted with everything being thrown their way.
One of the most joyful moments of any HEALTH show is when the audience decides they’re actually going to mosh. Not every crowd does, as HEALTH tends to attract hardcore kids and disco fans in equal measures. However, as soon as they launched into “THE MESSAGE” it seemed inevitable that a mosh was going to break out. It was the most joyful, friendly mosh to ever take place on this earth. Throngs of people positively jumping for joy as HEALTH played unfittingly dark music. This very same mosh became a scene of great comedy later on as onlookers got to see what it looks like when a gaggle of hardcore kids tries to dance to industrial techno as “L.A. LOOKS” reverberated throughout the venue.
Shows like this go a long way towards the theory that Los Angeles is the best place to catch a show. Sure sometimes you get a dud where there are more Instagram influencers than fans, but if you stick to the grimy corners of the underground or the forever loud hallways of hardcore you’ll find some of the best shows of your life. This only grows truer when you realize most bands come to LA last, and they tend to give one hell of a final show. If this was HEALTH saving the best for last, then they blew it out of the water, and if this was just the standard for them, then they just keep getting better and better.
STRANGE DAYS (1999)
We Are Water
INNOCENCE (feat. Youth Code)
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat