Some music fans may see no correlation between the finest traditional Irish music and indie-rock quintet Local Natives. Whether genre, imagery or the ability to reduce a barroom full of Guinness guzzlers into a sobbing mess, the connection is not immediately evident.
But in the sound of the Southern California act — due to play at 8 p.m. March 17 inside Town Ballroom (681 Main St.) — fans can hear a marching percussion foundation that’s emblematic of the cherished Celtic tribal thump.
And though not likely to be accentuated by step dancers any time soon, it's certainly appropriate for those looking for a familiar ethnic beat amid the band’s St. Patrick’s Day date in Buffalo’s Theatre District.
This is the sound that’s rolled along its familiar alt-rock radio “Wide Eyes” or recent tracks like “Past Lives” (off last year’s “Sunlit Youth”). Runaway snare hits and drum core-mimicking dalliances from drummer Matt Frazier create a sturdy thread to weave between echoing chords, keys and vocals from guitarists Ryan Hahn and Taylor Rice, keyboardist Kelcey Ayer, and bassist Andy Hamm.
Will the group cover some holiday-appropriate tracks from the Pogues or the Wolfe Tones? Not likely. But on a holiday highlighted by its musical tradition, Local Natives aren’t a bad alternative to the overtly green-hued sounds of the season.
Tickets are $25-$27 (box office, ticketfly.com).