By Leslie Centeno, 17, Bishop Conaty—Our Lady of Loretto HS
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Klaxons singer/keyboardist/bassist James Righton.

Photos by Zuzene Ison, 17, Bishop Conaty—Our Lady of Loretto HS (graduate 2007)

I had been waiting with friends at the El Rey Theatre since 2 p.m., jittery from the anticipation of seeing one of my favorite bands, Klaxons, a rave-infused “indie-rock” British quartet I discovered last fall. Though I was excited, I had no ticket. This concert sold out faster than I had expected and I got there early hoping to get a ticket somehow without getting ripped off by money-hungry scalpers. Luckily, a concertgoer sold me an extra ticket for $20 and it turned out that the time I had was priceless!

At 4:20 p.m., the band arrived at the front of the El Rey. I instantly threw myself at singer/bassist/keyboardist Jamie Reynolds and he greeted me with open arms. I then rushed over to guitarist Simon Taylor-Davis for a photo because my friends were swarming him. When I saw singer/keyboardist/bassist James Righton, I shouted, “James! I love you!” and hugged and kissed him. “Aw, I love you too,” he responded. I don’t usually act like this, but seeing the band so early shocked me and turned me into a mindless “fan girl.” We talked for a few minutes about upcoming shows and he told me they’re coming back in September. I was beaming. They were so nice and cheery with everyone. It paid to arrive six hours before the doors opened!

Finally entering the venue at 8 and claiming my front row spot, the show kicked off at 9:20 with the Portland trio, Fist Fite. I suffered through their set because their deafeningly loud guitar distracted me and the lead singer kept screaming on the microphone. When their set ended, I could feel my right ear beating. After a brief wait, the lights dimmed, the curtains opened and the Klaxons took the stage.

Seconds into the opener, “The Bouncer,” I screamed hysterically. The crowd became jumpy and pushy as the Klaxons performed fan favorites off their debut, Myths of the Near Future. Every time the crowd got more excited, they’d thrust forward and I’d be pressed against the stage. Some fans were in such a trance; they were mimicking the guitar sounds and drumbeats! When the sirens at the start of “Atlantis to Interzone” began, the pandemonium grew and I joined in the uproar, singing and screaming at full volume.

Arriving more than five hours early paid off for Leslie Centeno, 17, as she got this snap with Klaxons singer/bassist/keyboardist James Righton.

My favorites of the night were “Golden Skans,” “Totem on the Timeline” and “Gravity’s Rainbow.” All their tunes were vibrant and energy-packed, but these were total standouts because the instruments and vocals sounded more powerful than on their CD. The mellow and catchy “As Above So Below” calmed the audience’s brutal antics. However, the “break” quickly ended and I found myself compressed again by sweaty fans. Throughout the night I was jumping up and down, rocking my head and singing, but it was a struggle. It didn’t matter how uncomfortable I was though, their music made up for it because it sounded much better live and I was having a blast.

As the band wrapped up with “Four Horsemen of 2012,” I cheered till my voice cracked. After the show, I kept on screaming, “Oh my gosh!” to my friends because I was in disbelief of what had happened. I came early, worried about getting in, and instead I met the band, got a ticket and was blown away by their rousing set. I’m already counting down for their September return!