As soon the red velvet curtains parted at the El Rey Theatre on Thursday, AlunaGeorge fans knew they chose the right place for a night of dancing. The London-based electronic duo comprised of singer and songwriter Aluna Francis and beatmaker George Reid made their L.A. debut to a roaring crowd. Whether it was the way Francis slinked her way onto stage in a silk boxer outfit or how the duo’s sound came to life with live drums and a bass player, the sold-out venue went wild from the start.
||| Photos by Carl Pocket
AlunaGeorge’s debut album “Body Music” is aptly titled, as their futuristic R&B-pop clearly moves one in the ways their influencers (Flying Lotus, Neptunes, the Knife, CocoRosie) do. However, Francis’ coquettish vocals are the peculiar icing on the cake. Her vocal riffs don’t necessarily possess a diva range like Mariah Carey’s or the late Whitney Houston, but Francis’ bright voice cut through the beats. Similarly to Joanna Newsome’s childish vocals, Francis also came off incredibly soulful at times. With her model physique, Francis worked the crowd with playful lyrics such as “Everyone’s gonna get their chance / So there’s no need to feel lost” and let her silk robe fall to the floor during “Best Be Believing.”
Reid, on the other hand, looked like any other shy boy next door with a bowl haircut. He stood firm behind his synths and religiously bopped his head to the funk and soul beats he concocted. At one point, Francis joined him on the synth for a duet of a short instrumental tune.
But aside from the obvious dance party going on, fans went beyond bouncing their arms and up and down to the groove. With “Kaleidoscope Love” only serving as the second song in their set, the crowd broke into a massive sing-a-long. “It’s all I wanna be / It’s all I wanna do” may be simple lyrics, but it perfectly suited the vibe in the room where everyone seemed immersed in the concept of “now.”
Even slower jams such as “Outlines” provoked some finger snapping, swaying and some crowd participation, as Francis held the mic out for the crowd. But AlunaGeorge’s set really went into the overdrive during the middle of their set when they consecutively played “You Know You Like It”, their cover of Montel Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” “Attracting Flies,” their collaboration with Disclosure, “White Noise,” and finally their breakthrough single “Your Drums, Your Love.”
AlunaGeorge didn’t do an encore, but Francis showed her love by making a heart sign with her hands and Reid took a photo of the crowd just before they walked off stage. With a buzz still running through the room, fans only returned to reality once the house lights turned on.