It was a festive Cinco de Mayo at The Roxy Theatre and a bit of a change of pace from the usual tequila and cerveza specials. The room was packed with excited teens, sporting shoelace headbands, bright neon patterned tees, and peg leg trousers — these kids were ready to dance and ready for the triumphant release of Iglu & Hartly’s debut record And Then Boom.


Pop Noir, a favorite of KROQ Locals Only and one of the more promising new acts to come out of L.A. in the past few years, opened the night. Since playing the inaugural Sunset Strip Music Festival, the band has garnered enough exposure to snag an opening slot on several dates of Doves U.S. tour.


Just like their namesake, the band dressed from head to toe in black mod stylings – looked much like the offspring of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club but sounded more like a dark wave version of Supergrass. Pop Noir’s high energy set really filled out the bill and kicked off the night in a way that made the band feel more like they were a co-headliner than an opening act.


Now Iglu & Hartley were ready to give the crowd some serious lovin’. As soon as the curtain was raised, the band exploded with a high level of enthusiasm that was equally matched by the crowd. The synth heavy happy beats of “Jump Out Of Your Car” instantly turned the entire room into an all out dance-party. With their “and hammer” (the band’s logo, which combines an ampersand and a hammer) tats flying, singer Jarvis Anderson and company treated the crowd to a full sampling of the new record.


Dressed more like they were ready for a day of lounging at the beach than playing a rock show, the band sweatily powered through their set, stopping many times to acknowledge their new found Echo Park roots and the fan base that has helped sustain them.


“We worked for two-and-a-half years on this record and it’s finally come around,” saluted a shirtless Anderson as he toasted the crowd with his beer.


In fact, the show was full of fan participation and appreciation. During the moody ballad “Out There” the band called for all the girls in the crowd to get on their guy’s shoulders and sway to their smooth rhymes. A few songs later, the crowd broke out into an all out frenzy of dance and arm waving, singing along to the catchy hook of “Violent And Young.”


But one of the biggest sources of nervous excitement in the crowd was monitoring Anderson’s pants whose waistline bordered on “the danger zone” the entire night, leaving many of the young ladies in the crowd hoping for a repeat of the now infamous naked Coachella incident.


The band finished their set with a bang dedicating their heavily rotated radio single “In This City” to their fans; a song that tells the story of the band’s journey, dropping out of college in Boulder, Col., and deciding to pursue music, making a new home in Echo Park, Calif.


For the final song “Dayglo,” all the “ladies in the house” we’re invited onstage to dance away the last song of the night, which was the conclusion of an even more impressive journey, that of a band that played The Roxy almost exactly one year ago and was now launching their debut record to a packed house.


–Brent X Mendoza

Photo credit: donrichner/dzrimages