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ICYMI: REX ORANGE COUNTY
2/10/18

BY KENZ MEADOWS

Blossoming Brit-pop act, Rex Orange County, performed at the El Rey theater last night (2/8) in L.A. This was the second of two completely sold-out performances, and the young act (only 19) really delivered. 

He floated back and forth from performing solo—either on keyboard or guitar—and including accompaniment with drums, sax, trumpet and trombone. And there was plenty of audience involvement. Rex (his given name is Alex O'Connor) was funny and really engaged with his crowd, at one point requesting that everyone sacrifice the potential for Instagram stories by putting their phones down so they could just "hang out for twenty minutes."

I've seen acts request this at shows hundreds of times. The difference here was that everyone acquiesced. The whole house, packed with teenagers and twentysomethings, actually went ahead and danced to his jazzy pop tunes instead.

The next time a lit screen appeared was when everyone collectively needed to capture the finale. Complete with tons of swirling confetti and multi-colored balloons, which floated down like we were in a teen movie, his ending note struck a really lovely chord. 

Rex, who recently made BBC's Sound of 2018 shortlist, has worked with the likes of Skepta, Mac Demarco, Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean. So far, all of his music has been released independently, though he's rep'd by September Management. He's now headed back the the U.K. for a slew of sold-out shows. That said, European dates are still available; dates and details here. You can check out my favorite of his songs, which he performed second to last, below.