If you want to attend a 2 hour long dance party, Years and Years is the band for you. With their unique synthetic beats and electronic-pop sound, their concise yet particular setlist is sure to have you on your feet. Fresh off of a round of festival tour dates and several dates opening with Ellie Goulding, Olly Alexander (the lead singer) voiced his relief on getting to play a headlining show of their own amidst this hectic festival season. Having just wrapped a sold-out headlining North American tour in fall, Years and Years have returned to Los Angeles to play a sold-out show at the Fonda.
The opener Rejjie Snow performed several of his songs, including one of his better known rap songs, aptly entitled “Snow.” Donning a jacket that repeated the word “nachos” in a similar font to Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo,” Rejjie immediately enticed the crowd with his quiet, peculiar approach. The strange beats were refreshing to hear while Rejjie worked his calm magic over the crowd, even getting the crowd to yell “Snow! Snow! Snow!” at the main chorus of the song. Rejjie ate a banana on stage while performing, which got a couple laughs from the crowd.
Years and Years opened with “Foundation,” and Olly’s charisma charmed the entire crowd to shout back lyrics immediately from the start. Decked out in a loose jumpsuit with tropical print and some Nike’s, Olly’s slick stage dancing had everyone in the room grooving to each song’s beats. Following with “Take Shelter” and “Worship,” Olly’s enigmatic and intense freestyle choreography was absolutely stunning to watch.
Weaved into the large chunk of high-energy electronic music, Years and Years performed several of their ballads. Olly made his way to the piano to perform “Memo,” and brought up a fan on stage to sit next to him. It was a sweet moment. Olly also took to the piano to perform “Eyes Shut” as well. Olly also performed the heartwarming song “Without” while singing with the background singers. Although much calmer, each ballad was a well-placed nice break from their high-energy dance songs.
Years and Years also performed some of their more popular hits off of Communion, including “Shine,” and rounding up encore performances with “Desire” and “King.” In the middle of the set, they performed a lovely mashup of “Dark Horse” and “Hotline Bling,” with a unique “Years and Years” twist on it.
Their coherent setlist seemed very developed and well-thought out – the lighting rig was also one of the best I had ever dealt with! While photographing Years and Years during the first three songs, it took a lot for me not to just put my camera down and dance. Years and Years have definitely broken into the main stage music scene and are here to stay.
All photos are by Genesia Ting for the Los Angeles Beat. You can view more HD photos of Rejjie Snow and Years and Years here.