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THE FREE NATIONALS: LIVE IN CONCERT
Songbyrd Presents
Downstairs, All Ages


DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM

$18 / $22
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Songbyrd Presents

Tuesday March 3, 2020

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In less than a year, the Free Nationals went from playing weddings to performing on “ Ellen,” opening for Beyoncé, and amping up Coachella crowds. As Anderson .Paak’s live band, they’ve been fundamental in establishing his retro sound. (As influences, they cite Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, and Erykah Badu.) Now, after nearly two years of pump-faking, the band—comprised of guitarist Jose Rios, keyboardist Ron “T.Nava” Avant, bassist Kelsey Gonzales, and drummer Callum Connor— has set off on its own with a 40-minute self-titled debut.

The long-awaited album, and we mean long-awaited for a reason. Free Nationals was supposed to be released quite some time ago but would be delayed due to the band’s all-encompassing day job as .Paak’s backing band. The creation of Ventura and Oxnard placed Free Nationals on an indefinite delay. Nevertheless, the project is out and the guest list is stacked. The group’s instantaneous dexterity is depicted on every single track. On both the Anderson .Paak–assisted “Gidget” and “Oslo,” the band moves with a quickness. The way bassist Gonzales uses his syrupy basslines to provide songs with a clear path is enlightening. That subtlety complements the more ‘80s spacey guitar licks throughout “Oslo” with a pristine balance.