The Palms @ The Fox Cabaret – April 29th 2019

Vancouver officially turned The Palms into an internationally touring band on Monday night. Despite being booked on a Monday night, there was a decent turnout for the Los Angeles group who describe their sound as a mixture of West Coast Psychedelia, Hip Hop and Folk. In a nutshell, their music is the perfect soundtrack to a summer night in California – its no wonder its featured in so many skating videos. The crowd soon moved from swaying on the sidelines to boogying in the front row, the band’s lead singer declaring, “Third song and this is already the best stop on the tour!”

The Palms played their new EP, Televised Daydream, along with their old hits, the crowd singing along and occasionally bumping drinks with the bass player. Beginning with Future Love from their 2016 EP Sway, the band took me back to when I first saw them play two years ago on a rainy night in Santa Cruz during a road-trip with some friends. While looking for a place to eat, we happened upon the band setting up in a derelict theatre and caught their show later that evening. Despite there being twenty-odd people in attendance, they gave it their all and made it a really memorable night.

“This is the song that made all of this possible,” Ben Rothbard, The Palms’ lead singer, told the crowd as he crooned to their hit song Push Off. Ben kept the crowd engaged throughout the show, reminding them how special this night was for them. Their humble, easy-going attitude made for a great vibe, Ben even pausing to ask the audience, “Are there any beers floating around? I need a beverage, I’m dry.”

After playing crowd favorite Stupid La Love Song, the band drifted into equally upbeat Closer, Ben’s favorite song from their new EP. Contrasted with their older tunes, The Palms’ new music sounds more fine-tuned, while still maintaining their signature West Coast alt-pop sound.

The Palms reminded the crowd that they are independent, without a label ‘or any of that shit attached.’ Indeed, the restrictions of conforming to a record label were what led to the demise of Ben and lead guitarist Johnny Zambetti’s previous band, Terraplane Sun. The Palms emerged in the aftermath, a venture the two were determined to manage themselves. “It’s all word of mouth guys, we love you. Thank you.”

Once the band had played their last song, the crowd immediately began cheering for an encore. The Palms looked at each other sheepishly, Ben telling the crowd endearingly, “We’re fucking bad at the encore shit, I’m sorry.. that’s show business and we’re not show business.” They played the very last song up their sleeve and exited the stage, grabbing beers from the bar and chatting to the crowd until the room emptied out.

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