Rex Orange County at the Observatory in Santa Ana, CA

In the Orange County Observatory, a comfortable blend between theatre and bar, Rex Orange County sang with the exact soulful and cozily pristine (think the tightest-knit sweater you own) sound featured in his latest album Apricot Princess. He hopped between guitar and piano to mirror the tone of each song, not necessarily matching the stinging lyrics of fear, dread, love, loss, and universal self-hate; but that’s the rawness we all love about it.

While I danced like I was listening to the songs alone in my car, the atmosphere was mellow and friendly: low-key raging (i.e. the talent getting thumped in the face with a sunflower in the middle of his song “Sunflower”), another juxtaposition Rex Orange County brings into the mainstream.

And there’s nothing quite like a packed crowd of vaping and Snapchatting teens in crop tops to make me feel like a relic. But the grunge-jazz-indie-pop artist bridged the gap between the cool kids and myself. As a matter of fact, I brought along my ultra-hip 15-year-old sister to baptize her in her first concert, so I experienced the show with that giddy first-time mindset.

Closing with back-to-back bangers “Best Friend” and “Loving is Easy,” Rex Orange County left everyone wanting more, absentmindedly humming our favorite tunes back to our cars.

 

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