Grouplove Spread Good Vibes At The Troubadour: Live Review

Mike Wass | September 18, 2013 3:52 pm

Grouplove celebrated the release of their much-anticipated sophomore LP Spreading Rumours with a sold-out show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles last night (September 17). It was a happy homecoming for the globe-trotting five-piece. Their rollicking, sun-kissed tunes were lapped up by the adoring crowd and the band cemented their status as one of alt-pop’s best live acts with a superbly performed set.

It’s always a gamble to focus on new material as opposed to the tried and tested hits but Grouplove dove fearlessly into their new album and the crowd was more than happy to go along for the journey — singing along to each and every song. They kicked off the night with Spreading Rumours opener “I’m With You”. It’s the perfect introduction to their perky new direction with its catchy “woah woahs” and multitude of hooks.

The song clearly struck a chord with fans and it wasn’t long before people began to chant along with Christian Zucconi and imitate Hannah Hooper‘s wicked hairography. “Borderlines And Aliens” was equally well-received with its whirring guitars and infectious hand claps, while Never Trust A Happy Song favorite “Lovely Cup” was an early highlight with the duo trading vocals like a hipster Sonny and Cher.

“School Boy” and “Shark Attack” followed and proved that the new album is jam-packed with jangly guitar-laced alt-pop hits. (Choosing the next single will be difficult — the band is spoilt for choice). Hannah introduced next song “Hippy Hill” by describing Grouplove as a cross between hippies and gangsters, which seems fitting in light of the track’s hazy ’70s vibe with some modern day swag.

“Naked Kids” and “Spun” were enjoyable throwbacks to their earlier material — particularly the latter, which found guitarist Andrew Wessen taking over vocal duties. Next up was new jam “What I Know”. It made a huge impression with its big hooks and killer harmonies. That lo-fi pop gem positions the band as the second coming of the B-52s and they absolutely rose to the occasion. They even had one girl dancing like Gidget in the front row!

Breakthrough hit “Tongue Tied” was a reminder of how much the band has developed over the past two years. The song still sounds great but Grouplove is all grown up now — as guitar-heavy rock anthem “Bitin’ The Bullet” showed. Fan favorite “Slow” closed the high-energy set before the tight-knit fivesome returned for a hit-filled encore. “Itchin’ On A Photograph” and current single “Ways To Go” made the intimate venue heave, while still epic “Colours” was the perfect conclusion to the band’s serotonin-raising gig.

Troubadour Setlist

I’m With You Borderlines And Aliens Lovely Cup Schoolboy Shark Attack Hippy Hill Naked Kids Spun What I Know Raspberry Tongue Tied Bitin’ The Bullet Slow Itchin’ On a Photograph Ways To Go Colours

Were you there? Let us know what you thought of the show in the comments.