Tennis is one of those bands that I wouldn’t really suppose I’d like very much. In the indie circuit there are always quite a few bands out that are following a play by play formula to to get a lo-fi, garage, beach rock sound. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I am just really damn picky when it comes to any bands that fall into this particular genre. I will be honest in saying that I am so picky that I only gave Tennis’ first full length a brief listen before deciding to move on. When I finally decided to give the band another chance and listen to their second studio release Young and Old, I was kind of blown away. The exciting LP was produced by The Black Key’s Patrick Carney and is solid the whole way through. Needless to say, I had been anxiously waiting for this show for some time.
The opening act, Wild Belle had already been playing as we arrived. I would say that we probably caught about half of their set and am I glad we did. Even with a major lack of stage presence the band’s sultry sound really had me really impressed. (Apparently they made a big spash at SXSW this year.) Think the vocal stylings of Amy Winehouse with a CocoRosie twist set on top of a Cults meets Bob Marley sound. Wild Belle is primarily brother/sister duo Elliott and (the gorgeous) Natalie Bergman. The band currently has a two track EP for download that you can purchase here.
If you aren’t familiar Tennis started as husband and wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley. The band has received much critical acclaim, and although I was a little late to the party I believe they deserve every ounce of it.
When Moore first walked on stage I was a llttle thrown off at how tiny she was in stature. It was hard to imagine her strong, sugar sweet vocals would be able to carry though in her live performance. Jon and I were also concerned as we noticed there was no one playing the bass. The rhythm section (especially, the bass) being so prominent in Young and Old. However as soon as the band started playing all of our fears were put behind us. Moore was charismatic and energetic, her voice was strong and confident and really didn’t miss a single beat. The bass lines were filled very cleverly with the use of an extra man on the baritone guitar and James Barone killed it on percussion.
Tennis’ set seemed to flow really well as they mixed old and new songs alike. They touched on crowd favorites such as the “Petition”, “The High Road” and the single “Orgins”. They also gave the audience a little treat and played a brand new untitled song. However, the highlight for me was when they played “My Better Self” from Young and Old. With all of their songs averaging 3 1/2 minutes the entire set was over before we knew it.
I am glad that I came around and actually gave this band a listen, because Tennis definitely put on the best show that I have seen so far during The Bearded Gentlemen’s spring concert marathon. I look forward to hearing what the Denver native’s will put out in the future. Be sure to check out their records if you haven’t yet. You’ll get hooked, I swear it.
Here are a few more videos we caught a the show. (To check out all the videos from this concert as well as many others be sure to check out my YouTube page here)