Thursday, September 15, 2011

Live Review - Grouplove @ Bowery Ballroom

Can you capture lightening in a bottle? Can you paint with sound? The answer to these questions is no, of course, but if you are a band like Grouplove you come pretty close to these extraordinary feats. The LA five-piece just released their debut, Never Trust a Happy Song on Atlantic Records and to celebrate the records release, the band threw one hell of a party and live show at the infamous Bowery Ballroom. Grouplove’s sound is very unique and hard to describe, it is part psychedelic-rock, part pop, part art-rock and part gypsy punk, there is no clear cut sound they make, but it doesn’t matter, the amount of energy and joy they produce on stage is inspiring. The album is a feel good sing-a-long indulgence into the trials and tribulations life presents but on stage, Grouplove just show one emotion – joy. The band, which formed after they all met by chance at an artist colony in Crete, have been gigging around LA for a few years before being picked up by a major label. The story seems unreal, but it is all true and kismet for a band who are about to enjoy some massive success.

Taking the stage just after 10pm last night, a packed Bowery Ballroom was anticipating the arrival of the band and as soon as they stepped foot on stage, it was as if a bomb went off in the crowd with people jumping, dancing and shaking for the duration of the band’s hour-plus long set. With the audience dancing as if it was a Saturday night at a club, the band were having just as much fun on stage, switching instruments, putting on Carnival-esque masks and jumping off their gear like they were a grunge band from the early 90’s, Grouplove just want to have fun and they excel greatly at it. However, the most interesting part of the night was not so much the crowds energy, the bands appeal or music, but the impromptu art show that keyboardist and co-singer Hannah Hooper had at the end of the bands first set. As her band mates played, stage crew members brought out a giant sheet of glass and paper connected it to stands and Hannah went behind to paint what seemed to be a self portrait and the audience was just in awe to what they were witnessing. Singer Christian Zucconi summed it up best before the encore, “thank you all for making tonight so special, you only get one first album release party and this is fantastic! Thank for making it a night we will never forget!” I am unaware of the bands schedule for 2012 but this is a band that is about to overtake the festival circuit next summer, catch them in a club for a inimitable experience.