photo by Lily Moayeri
Sometimes, it feels like a talent booker tries too hard to match up the opening act with the headliner. In the case of We Are Twin, the support act for Foxes at L.A.’s Troubadour, it almost seemed that you saw the same vocalist twice. Although they are not, in fact, twins, Nicolas Balachandran and Foxes’ doppelganger, Gabi Christine, multiply to a whole instrumental family in live performances. Dressed like Kristin Witter playing a punk rock schoolgirl, Christine’s throaty voice was the strongest element of the band. She deflected attention away from the instruments, which felt a little separate from each other in the mix, by energetically bouncing around, her saucy ponytail flying high like a flag on a windy day. Yet, the indie pop-with-stinging-bite provided just the right warm-up for the main attraction.
Foxes is the nom de plume of Louisa Rose Allen, who is better known for her guest appearances on Zedd’s “Clarity,” Rudimental’s “Right Now” and Fall Out Boy’s “Just One Yesterday.” Massive hits for their respective artists, these tracks have also made Foxes a household name before she has released an album of her own. An EP in May of 2012 and a remix package for her current single, “Youth,” are the two items with only her name on them, yet, the devoted crowd in attendance still filled the venue to capacity.
Flanked by a drummer with both analog and digital instruments (both of which were disjointed and too loud in the mix) and a gadget fellow who was surrounded by so many pads, synths, racks and laptop he was a literal mobile studio, the tiny Foxes exploded onto the stage. The little girl with the big voice squirmed around the microphone stand, previewing songs from her upcoming album, Glorious, due out next spring. That gives Foxes plenty of time to work on some choreography to fill the much larger stages that are a guarantee in her future. Although there was one point Allen did scream that we were already making all her dreams come true and proceeded to climb up the stage scaffolding, an activity that was quickly aborted once she realized there was nothing to do up there.
Still though, Foxes’ voice is so tremendous, it is her main—and only needed—weapon. Her Rudimental-free version of “Right Here” stripped that number of its danceability almost entirely, approaching its high-octane drive with a paced feel instead. For her most recognizable number, “Clarity,” Foxes brought out Matthew Koma, one of the song’s co-writers, to accompany her on vocals. Koma’s powerful lungs (which have had their fair share of guesting on a number of other artists’ hits like Hardwell, Zedd) elevated the performance, bringing the evening to a climactic end.