All photos taken by Kellen Nordstrom | c/o The Echoplex, Los Angeles
We booked our trip to Los Angeles based around one event: Brooklyn duo, Tanlines‘ album release show for their sophomore album, Highlights, at The Echoplex on Monday, May 18. Sure, we found plenty of other reasons to head to the West Coast, but it all started around this show.

To anyone who’s seen Tanlines previously, or anyone familiar with the band, Tanlines operated exclusively as a duo, made up of lead singer and guitarist Eric Emm and percussionist & bassist Jesse Cohen. On their most recent tour dates, the duo added members to become “Tanlines: The Band.” These new members, Cale Parks (who’s recorded with Yeasayer, Passion Pit, Owen) and Travis Dylan, each proved themselves worthy and added depth to the live show.

Not only did it provide depth to their sound, but it also seemed to boost the confidence of Emm and Cohen on stage. While Cohen is no stranger to humor and light-hearted banter, look at his smile in the photos above; he just oozes charisma and confidence. The duo seemed loose and more assured, with less pressure on both of Tanlines’ founding members.

It was great to see Cohen’s hands free enough to be able to lead the room’s many party people, who followed Cohen’s lead in waving their hands, pumping their fists, and singing along. Emm’s vocals were as smooth and impassioned as on both of their previous releases, proving his crooning are not the result of vocoder effects.

Tanlines entertained the crowd of 600-plus at The Echoplex that night with a mixture of songs new and old (see setlist below), including a track “S.A.W.” from a 2010 split 7″ with SALEM. But in the end the set didn’t seem to be long enough to maintain the celebratory nature of the show. While Los Angeles is certainly not the band’s home base, Cohen even said himself that the response at their previous L.A. shows made it feel necessary they play there on the eve of the album’s release. The band had been through a lot in the three years leading up to Highlights release, so I had expected Emm and Cohen to release a little more steam during the show, and perhaps perform more than the ten-song setlist plus two-song encore. But perhaps that’s just me being a selfish fan, because the show was more than worth the trip.


Running Still
Slipping Away
Bad Situations
Green Grass
Two Thousand Miles
All of Me
Real Life
Invisible Ways
Not The Same


Friday, June, 26 – Mr. Smalls, Millvale PA
Saturday, June, 27 –  Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights OH
Sunday, June, 28 – The Loving Touch, Ferndale MI
Tuesday, June, 30 – Madison Live, Covington KY
Wednesday, July, 1 – Firebird, St. Louis MO
Thursday, July, 2 – Vega, Lincoln NE
Friday, July, 3  – Larimer Lounge, Denver CO
Sunday, July, 5 – Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City UT
Tuesday, July, 7 – Electric Owl, Vancouver BC
Wednesday, July, 8 – Neumos, Seattle WA
Thursday, July, 9 – Mississippi Studios, Portland OR
Saturday-Sunday, July 11-12 – Mamby On The Beach, Chicago IL
Tuesday, July, 14 – The Observatory, Santa Ana CA
Wednesday, July, 15 – Valley Bar, Phoenix AZ
Friday, July, 17 – Red 7, Austin TX
Saturday, July, 18 – Club Dada, Dallas TX
Sunday, July, 19 – Fitzgerald’s, Houston TX
Tuesday, July, 21 – The Earl, Atlanta GA
Wednesday, July, 22 – The Mothlight, Asheville NC
Thursday, July, 23 – U Street Music Hall, Washington DC
Friday, July, 24 – Voyeur, Philadelphia PA
Saturday, July, 25, The Sinclair, Cambridge MA
Friday-Sunday, August 14-16 Summerset Festival Somerset, WI