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Grouplove: Kismet beginnings deliver wondrous results

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Los Angeles based five piece Grouplove quaked a sold-out room at the Pageant Tuesday night rocking it’s crowd to its core. The performance was like watching a marathon, start to finish. The journey was full of anticipation and a thrilling display of how much the band has grown since taking up residence at Perfect Sound Studios in LA to record their second album. The set list predominantly showcased new songs sprinkled with gems from 2011.

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Grouplove released their sophomore effort “Spreading Rumours” in September and continue a thorough cycle of touring in support.
The album released via Canvasback / Atlantic Records is a growth album in the sense that these five individuals have begun to reach new levels of consciousness with each other transporting their collaborative efforts to mind boggling heights.
The sixteen-track album brings to light just how eclectic the band can be. Ryan Rabin (drummer/producer) has done it again, showing off his detailed ability to engineer an album. Programing sampled kit beats and mixing them with his acoustic drums comes through seamlessly. Christian Zucconi (vocals/guitars) commands with a voice that stretches the limits while Hannah Hooper (vocals/keyboards) is the perfect side playing off Zucconi; her voice filled with a reactionary tenderness. The harmonies are layered copiously; you will not be able to resist the instinct to sing along. Sean Gadd (base/vocals) and Andrew Wessen (guitars/vocals) have such an impact musically it’s hard to imagine a Grouplove album arranged without them.

The success of 2011’s “Grouplove” EP and “Never Trust a Happy Song” cemented the group into popular culture with strong commercial success. Two singles specifically; “Colours” was featured in Madden NFL 12, FIFA 12, and MLB 2K12 and “Tongue Tied” was featured in the Apple iPod Touch TV ad and then sold over one million singles to date. The ability of Grouplove’s music to wiggle itself into your ears and bounce around your head for days may drive you mad but it makes advertisers giddy.

The energy with which Grouplove performs is remarkable. The first nine songs into the show lead with standouts - “Itchin’ On a Photograph, Hippy Hill and Shark Attack. In hindsight I can see the construct clearly, leading into a four-song sprint, starting with Tongue Tied, Borderlines and Aliens, Ways to Go and ending with Colours. End result: a dramatic climax of sound, light and motion that would leave us breathless, our senses blown and Zucconi spent; lying on the stage.

The band continues it’s touring schedule through this year and next. Closest upcoming date to St. Louis is Kansas City on April 30th at the Kansas City Power and Light.

For a more in-depth look into Grouplove check out this video of the band performing live at Red Bull Sound Space at KROQ earlier this year and their new short form documentary “I’m With You.”