Review: GROUPLOVE and ∆ Alt-J at the Moore Theater 9/26

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GROUPLOVE at The Moore Theater – All Photos By: Amber Zbitnoff

Hearing the name GROUPLOVE may bring visions of sunshine, free love and a little 60’s garb. Throw lots of fun and freedom into the fix and you’ve pegged a live show from this Los Angeles group. The energy that Christian Zucconi, Hannah Hooper, Sean Gadd, Ryan Rabin, Andrew Wessen radiated in the nearly-sold out Moore Theater was 100% contagious and invigorating.

The stage was decked out with lamps, colorful globes and foliage, allowing the crowd to let loose with carefree songs such as ‘Lovely Cup’, and their radio hits ‘Itchin’ On A Photograph’ and ‘Colours’. The band members played off each other’s exuberant vibe, singing and dancing together while also sharing mic duties to treat the crowd with brief stories of buying new hats and dressing up a little to play in such a “nice theater”. Hannah stole my attention as she twirled with a giant smile plastered on her face. Being the only lady in a group of four men she commanded to be watched as she belted out vocals while being an animated ball of joy. Seattle ended up being the first stop on their tour after rescheduling their Portland show, and drummer Ryan nodded to this fact as he took the time to dedicate ‘Slow’ to the recent passing of his grandmother.


At the end of their set Christian noted how he had woke up a little sad, but was feeling much better as “sometimes it just feels good to scream your f****** head off.” He then led everyone in a cathartic howling-like-wolves before launching into ‘Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten’, which continued through most of the song as one good gut-wrenching scream wasn’t simply enough. During the encore, ‘Tongue Tied’ shifted into a boisterous cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, which had the place grooving if they weren’t already tired out. “I just want to dance with you guys, this is fun!” Hannah exclaimed, and after a 90-minute fun-filled set it was safe to say that everyone else felt exactly the same way.

 

For more photos from GROUPLOVE’s set, view the gallery at the bottom of the page.

 

 

∆ Alt-J  at The Moore Theater – All Photos By: Amber Zbitnoff

Ever since I heard Alt-J‘s song ‘Taro’ I have been drawn to this band like a bear to honey. The first taste was good, but soon I just couldn’t get enough of them. From the cheers that this British band received at the nearly sold out Moore Theater last night, it’s safe to say that a chunk of Seattle reciprocates the feeling.


Alt-J, or ∆ if you get fancy with tech keyboard skills, played most of their album An Awesome Wave inviting fans old and new alike to sink deep into their self proclaimed “folk-step” music. Each song is rich with layers of Gus Unger-Hamilton’s keys and synth that came even more alive in their live show. Mixed with Gwil Sainsbury’s bass, these factors coaxed the metaphorical shark swimming in ‘Tesselate’ to life. Joe Newman’s voice is impressive for its ability to be both smooth and soft with a pepper of grit. His vocals were especially showcased during ‘Something Good’, where the lyrics “Something good, oh something good tonight will make me forget about you for now” sound as much a plea for relief as a small victory. Watching Thom Green’s drumming was also fascinating as he maneuvered a modified kit with a tambourine substituted for a cymbal and a few other percussion gems.

 

During the lullaby-esque ‘Hand Made’ people began to clap along but were quickly hushed as a majority wanted to hear the soft guitar strings and tinkling of bells – a sure sign that the crowd was drinking in every song. When they finally wrapped up their set with my love ‘Taro’ at least one member of Grouplove was seen dancing off to the side stage to the sitar and string laced goodness as well, showing even more support of their set.

The next time these guys are in town it’s safe to say they will be headlining their own show. And when they do grab tickets for it – it’s a choice you won’t regret.

 

For more photos from their set, view the gallery below.

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