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Elefant’s show Friday night at the Music Box @ Fonda felt more like a trial run than a triumphant return. The New York City quartet, a couple years removed from its last tour and more than three from the release of its sophomore album “The Black Magic Show,” looked tentative for most of an hourlong set, despite mountains of adulation heaped upon frontman Diego Garcia by worshipers at the half-full Fonda.
- ||| Photos by Laurie Scavo
“I never thought we’d be doing this again,” Garcia told the crowd at one point, and it was evident that Elefant – who packed a punch when I saw them at the Fonda in 2005 and again in 2006 – hadn’t been doing it lately. Guitarist Mod seemed on his game, but the rhythm section wasn’t always in sync, and Garcia’s croon, blessed with a quaver that made songs like “Misfit” and “Sirens” pretty memorable, fairly warbled in places.
At least openers Love Grenades came to play. Despite whirlwind travel arrangements that had the L.A. band flying back from the U.K. and arriving the afternoon before the show, frontwoman Liz Wight and mates made plenty of new fans at the dance-night promotion, delivering a high-spirited set that was heavy on showmanship and rump-shaking tunes.
||| Live: Elefant plays again tonight at the Glass House in Pomona.