Grouplove brought their fun and energetic live show to Brooklyn, and showed off new tracks from latest album Big Mess.
The irony of arriving late and dishevelled to see a band whose latest album is called Big Mess – and is about how chaotic life can be – was not lost on me. I arrived in time to see the crowd-pleasing hit “Tongue Tied” from their 2011 debut album, Never Trust a Happy Song. Any bad feelings anyone was carrying with them couldn’t have survived amongst all that joy. From the second the guitar riff started and the first “Wooooo!” of the song was belted, the whole room was smiling and dancing.
The setlist leaned towards the new tracks off Big Mess which translated well live, though “Spinning” and “Enlighten Me” interrupted the way the set flowed. As they moved straight into the manic “Borderlines and Aliens” and the guitar riff punched the air, they brought the mood right back up again. The big songs from 2013 album Spreading Rumors still stand out live; “Shark Attack” was a frenzy of guitars, screams, and jumping while “Ways to Go” was like a party you never want to leave.
Grouplove had some surprises for us. They paid homage to Beastie Boys – very fitting for a New York show – with a rocking cover of “Sabotage” that had lead singer Christian Zucconi off the stage and making his way over the top of the first few rows of the crowd, and their song that features in the TV show Bojack Horseman.
The members of Grouplove always look so happy doing what they do on stage; while lead singer and guitarist Zucconi stands out with his bright blue hair, Hannah Hooper is the one who grabs your attention.
She flings herself from one side of the stage to the other, dances with the other band members, and brings an energy that stayed strong through the whole set. Hooper leads into “Welcome to Your Life” by telling everyone it’s normal to feel down sometimes with, “Welcome to your life, MOTHERFUCKERS!”. Watching Hooper and Zucconi sing and dance to this song together is a beautiful sight and makes you hope that kind of love is out there for everyone.
Break out track “Colours” from their 2011 debut was the last song of the night, a fitting reminder that the thing we call life, when we can’t call it all, ‘Really ain’t that bad.’
Image: Grouplove’s Instagram.