Concert Review: Julia Holter Goes Wild at Johnny Brenda’s

The L.A. artist takes the capacity crowd in unexpected directions.

Julia Holter @ Johnny Brenda's [photo by Chris Sikich]

Julia Holter @ Johnny Brenda’s [photo by Chris Sikich]

Drawing heavily on last year’s Have You in My Wilderness, Julia Holter took a capacity crowd on a winding path from jazz to experimental to more traditional pop rock zones on Friday. Her stellar voice took the songs in unexpected directions, backed by her keyboards, a stand-up bass, viola and drums. Bassist Devin Hoff was having tons of fun while the strings and vocals of Dina Maccabee and the percussion of Corey Fogel filled in all the gaps. And the breadth of possibilities the band offered was fulfilled with the encore cover of Dionne Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over.”

With a golden backlight, a twelve-string guitar and a striking baritone, Circuit des Yeux’s ethereal and haunting melodies echoed through the darkness. Playing behind her 2015 release In Plain Speech, Haley Fohr performed a handful of cryptic songs, with her voice reaching howl status by the set’s climax.