Very seldom do you come across a band capable of generating a live show that surpasses every expectation you previously had for them. The Santa Barbara based band, Gardens & Villa, proved to be one of these exceptions, after I attended their recent show at The Troubadour.
With the florescent Troubadour sine in the background, the sixties mixed with eighties-style band we know as Gardens & Villa took the stage. Very softly, the guitar started creeping in, gradually joined by the array of synthesizers and vocals that Gardens & Villa fans love.
Playing to a now spellbound audience, Gardens & Villa started to get into their more popular songs like “Neon Dove,” and “Cruise Ship.” Both songs were beautifully orchestrated for the live show. Vocals, drums, guitar and synths were all in sync with each other flawlessly. Then came other popular tracks like “Thorn Castles,” and “Spacetime,” which really got me and the crowd going.
To wind down, the band added a sweet touch to the show by performing the softer, yet equally moving tracks, “Carrizo Plain” and “Star Fire Power.” They then concluded their set with “Chemtrails,” and the overwhelmingly beautiful “Black Hills.” As an encore they played “Orange Blossom.” They really made the bass stand out a lot more (which I loved) in the live set than they did in the album version.
Gardens & Villa was truly a great show because they knew how to work up the crowd and are flat out talented at what they do. It’s rare when you find a band that makes you feel as though you have been taken on a journey after seeing them, but after seeing Gardens & Villa I can honestly say I had that feeling. Great band, awesome show, fantastic night at The Troubadour!