Last night, the band of L.A. natives who call themselves Chief performed a show as the headliner at the historic Troubadour in West Hollywood for their hometown fans. The show promoted songs from the folk-rock quartet's upcoming debut album, Modern Rituals, whose summer release has been generating much buzz.
The chance to not just play, but headline a venue whose stage has presented such legends as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson and Radiohead will only ever be a rock star fantasy to most. But for the Chief boys, privilege has always been routine. Evan Koga, Mike Moonves, and Danny and Michael Fujikawa all attended posh westside private schools before heading east to NYU where Chief really began to take shape.
Chief's access and resources undoubtedly played a part in the band's ascension on the music scene, and, c'mon, wouldn't they be stupid not to utilize such fortunate positioning? But their success and popularity can't all be attributed to connections -- they may have helped facilitate Chief's music career, but it was up to them to do the rest. The genuine music-making, that is.
And they have been successful in doing so, garnering attention and acclaim for a sound that the L.A. Times describes as "shimmering as a Venice Sunset" and selling out venues packed with friends and fans alike, just as the rock legends before them. So before you write them off as yet another instance of nepotism in the entertainment world, you'll have to get the irresistibly melodic "oohs" of "Night & Day" out of your head.