In the packed, steamy Star Theater in Portland, Oregon, the standing room only crowd cheered Grouplove as they made their way through stage fog for the first of their two night electric/acoustic shows. Frontman Christian Zucconi, in traditional concert stage robe, lead the band into I’m With You, the title track of their soon to be sophomore follow-up to Never Trust A Happy Song, Spreading Rumors. The rolling piano intro swelled as the stage overflowed with dry ice fog, breaking into the techno beat setting off a bouncing wave of fans at the front the stage lead by Hannah Hooper in her full- body leopard leotard.
Charging into another new track, Borderlines and Aliens, the band flexed some of their instrumental muscle with the syncopated rock-funk number. The highly charged tuned displayed a glimpse of an edgier side of the band that simmers just below the surface of their well crafted power pop. It will be interesting to hear how this aspect blossoms on future releases.
Grouplove, was in prime form belting out their growing catalog of the crafted blend of alternative rock. From fan favorites to new material, the band introduced nine of thirteen new songs from Spreading Rumors. They were in stellar Grouplove form showcasing their confident musicianship and tight vocal harmonies. The playful duo of Zucconi and Hooper kept the crowd jumping with their first single from Spreading Rumors, Ways To Go, which is equally as catchy as past hits Tongue Tied and Itchin’ On A Photograph, and giving the crowd another reason to keep on dancing.
Zucconi and Hopper continued their romp through the evening with delight, singing and dancing through their catchy love songs, Lovely Cup and the Hooper-lead Love Will Save Your Soul. Joining the fun and taking over the lead, guitarist Andrew Wessen broke out his ukulele, continuing the bouncy workout with Spun.
The new tunes showed the band staying true to their Grouplove groove with Zucconi and Hooper Hannah joining forces on the reflective ballads School Boy and Save the Party, and playing a flashback nod to rock music’s psychedelic past, Hippy Hill that gave way to Ryan Ruben’s glow stick single tom drum solo that ended their regular set.
Grouplove kept the Portland lovefest going with a three-song encore unveiling two more new tunes, the self-reflective alternative anthem What I Know, and the hip-hopped intro of Shark Attack, before ending the evening with the band’s first charting hit, Colours.
The good time sweat-drenched band from L.A. gave another energized heartfelt performance, leaving it all on stage. Next, the acoustic confines of the Alberta Rose Theater for the second half visit on The Seesaw Tour.