SiriusXM and Live Nation have joined forces to put on the cross-country Advanced Placement tour, and they’ve tagged some deserving artists for the promotion. On Friday, the tour will touch base in downtown Los Angeles at the Resident, featuring singer Mikky Ekko and Australian-bred trio Mansionair. Both deserving, high-energy performers in their own right, their combined showcases should make for an exciting night of music, featuring elements that anyone can get behind.
Mikky Ekko already has one claim to superstar fame under his belt, impressing with his feature on Rihanna’s 2012 hit “Stay.” Since then, the Nashville-based singer has been steadily releasing material to keep his name on the upswing, most recently in the form of his EP “Advance Copy” which dropped days before the start of the tour. The intro song, “What’s It Like Now,” has taken off as a success with its swirling guitars and fast-paced, thumping rhythm, which should easily translate into an exhilarating showing at the Resident this Friday.
Ekko was originally born in Louisiana, where he soaked plenty of soul in the form of gospel music influenced by his preacher father. His career took off once he relocated to Nashville, where he developed his noisy, alternative rock sound. He’s made quick work of traveling the globe and recording in locations such as Los Angeles and London, but chose to return home to record his sophomore album Fame, which is anticipated sometime this year.
His debut album Time was released back in 2015, and made a splash, revealing him an artist with the potential to climb the ranks in the coming years. When it comes to songwriting, Ekko prioritizes the vibe and the feeling before dropping in lyrics to fit the mood, allowing him to create a versatile project that dips between various styles. The upbeat “Love You Crazy” successfully contrasts more stripped-down, acoustic songs like “Comatose,” allowing for an engaging listen-through from start to finish.
Mansionair’s intricately textured sound is also sure to go over well on the tour, filling the entirety of the venue with an avalance of sounds to overwhelm the fans. The band first came together in 2014, when guitarist Lachlan Bostock and drummer Alex Nicholls reached out to singer Jack Froggatt to help finish the music they’d already been working on. Their skills complemented each other well, and their instant chemistry pushed them to make their new band a permanent reality. Their pulsating track “Easier” highlights their cinematic production, enveloping the listener into a massive, distorted soundscape behind lyrics that speak about a feeling of uncertainty in the face of life’s blistering pace.
The group has done all this without releasing a full album, instead relying on singles, remixes and EPs to get them to this point. Earlier in April they released “Violet City,” which contains a steadily rising beat that falls into a smooth breakdown on the chorus. Their live show is known to create a mesmerizing ambiance while often featuring some unreleased material, giving fans in attendance the opportunity to be ahead of the musical curve.
A hybrid venue that also offers a beer garden and plenty of visual attractions to make the experience, the Resident is an optimal location for the Los Angeles stop of the tour. The three-story building features both indoor and outdoor settings, while also including space dedicated to rotating food trucks to bring more of the local culture to every event. It should all come together nicely on Friday, for an audible experience that attendees likely will not regret. Doors for the event will open at 6:30, while Mikky Ekko will take the stage at 10:30.