When the three inordinately talented youngsters that make up London Grammar played their first Philadelphia show, the turnout wasn’t that great. Blame the fact that it was on a Monday, or that their sultry brand of electro-soul takes a little time to fully land in people’s heads. Either way, the handful of folks in the audience witnessed something music lovers cannot help but chase: the elusive “I knew them when” gig, where the kinetic energy of something massive begins to take shape.
Tonight, Norwegian outfit Highasakite presents another one of these moments at Underground Arts. Their sound is a new twist on something familiar, a pop-friendly brand of atmospheric indie rock that rings of bands like Phoenix and Yeasayer. Crowning the top of their potent synth-strings and climactic builds is singer Ingrid Helene Håvik, whose alto voice and surrealist lyrics cut through the mix for some of the catchiest choruses of any band making music today.
London Grammar also clearly knew a great moment when they saw it, bringing Highasakite on select US tour dates last month. Tonight, the band caps a small headlining American tour (including small-but-hearalded venues like DC’s Black Cat) before heading off to Europe in support of their second full-length Silent Treatment. This is a show worth seeing, if only to say “I knew them when” before they start selling out bigger venues.