It has been four years since Travis’ last studio album, 12 Memories. But since the release of their highly anticipated sixth album, The Boy With No Name, Travis has been on a non-stop tour ranging from Buenos Aires to Tokyo to London and now here in Los Angeles, at our very own Wiltern Theater on Nov. 21, and let me say that they were ready to rumble.
The indie Scottish band known as Travis consists of four members, Francis Healy (lead vocals, guitar), Dougie Payne (bass, backing vocals), Andy Dunlop (lead guitar, keyboards) and Neil Primrose (drums, percussion). You can say Travis’ music sounds like a mix of Radiohead and Oasis, but they have their own creative twist to their music.
The energetic English band, Max’mo Park, opened the show for Travis with a handful of songs from their latest album, Our Earthly Pleasures, such as, “Our Velocity” and “Girls Who Play Guitars.” With such catchy and clever music, and not to mention an amusing lead singer, it’s hard to believe that Max’mo Park didn’t win over some new fans that night.
Just before Travis took the stage, the lights died down and the intro music was replaced with the “Rocky” theme song, at which point, the band members came out from the back of the auditorium in boxing robes and made their way toward the stage tagging everyone’s hands.
They kick-started the show by playing some Boy With No Name tracks such as “Eyes Wide Open” and the rousing “Selfish Jean,” which raised my spirits for the rest of the night. Later they performed “My Eyes,” a sweet melodic song Healy wrote the day he found out he was going to be a father.
The Wiltern Theater had a spectacular lighting set-up for the show, although the quality of the sound left much to be desired. The major problem was the bothersome gnats, the bouncers, who consistently bothered members of the audience for capturing video. It wasn’t until Healy had to stop mid-song and say, “It doesn’t matter if anyone’s recording, it’s cool, it goes on YouTube,” that we had the privilege to continue recording.
One of the main highlights of the show was when Healy introduced their “secret weapon,” keyboard player, Klaus Bjorklund, before they performed “Good Feeling.” He mentioned Bjorklund has a big piano solo in the song and stated that whoever performs with Travis will perform under a lot of pressure.
Healy then asked the audience to point at Bjorklund and shout “Klaus” repeatedly in time with the song once the solo comes around. Once the solo began, I don’t need to tell you that there wasn’t a single person in the audience that wasn’t pointing and chanting.
But the show would not be complete if they didn’t perform their older yet still anthemic songs such as “Sing” and “Why Does it Always Rain on Me?” which automatically set the crowd to screaming for the rest of the night.
For the encore, Healy performed an acoustic rendition of “20,” one of two hidden songs from their second album, The Man Who. The song describes all the feelings an ordinary teenager goes through. With lyrics like “if he’s got it, why can’t I?” and “they scream at us when we’re on the phone,” it’s hard to imagine that anyone wasn’t reminiscing about their adolescent years.
Most think it’s unwise for a band to go “missing” to live ordinary lives and perfect their songs, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that Travis’ patience and hard work is unmistakable in both The Boy With No Name and in their live performances. And although I think the Wiltern Theater needs to work on its sound quality, I can say the $35 was worth it.
For more about Travis, you can visit their official website at www.travisonline.com