By Josh Herwitt //
Long after meeting in the Cranbrook School orchestra practice room, Australian disco-pop outfit Bag Raiders found commercial success with their 2009 hit “Shooting Stars”. The radio-friendly song reached as high as No. 62 on the ARIA Singles Chart in the duo’s home country, propelling their self-titled debut album all the way to No. 7 on the ARIA Albums Chart and earning a nomination for Album of the Year at the J Awards.
But more than five years have passed since Bag Raiders released their lone LP on Sydney label Modular Records, which also reps such Australian groups as Tame Impala, Cut Copy and The Presets. And while Jack Glass and Chris Stracey haven’t necessarily put out a new full-length record since then, dropping only a handful of singles and EPs over the past two years, their return to LA last Friday was met with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm.
After selling out The Independent up in San Francisco earlier in the week, Glass and Stracey managed to do the same thing in a larger venue 300-some miles away. The 80-year-old El Rey Theatre, which holds almost 300 more people than The Indy, was packed with fans who were invigorated and ready to dance their way into the weekend.
Meanwhile, joining Glass and Stracey onstage to play drums was Sydney-born/now LA-based songwriter, producer and DJ Felix Bloxsom, who also opened the show under his solo project Plastic Plates. Layering electronic beats with his array of live percussion, he warmed up the sold-out crowd up with a steady groove before Bag Raiders’ ensuing hour-long performance.
Although it hadn’t been that long since Glass and Stracey last played in LA, having headlined The Echo in September, it’s only been a month since they dropped their single “Checkmate”, which they played at the El Rey toward the end of their 15-song, “fuck encores” set along with newer tracks “Waterfalls”, “Vapour Trails”, “Friend Inside” and lastly “Nairobi”. If that recent output is any indication, there might be some more fresh material on the horizon from these two Aussies soon.
Way Back Home
Wonderland (“fuck encores”)