The band started its post-SXSW tour last night at Plush, its first trip to Tucson since July, with a new record in hand and plenty of buzz (from The New York Times, among others). Drawing fairly well for a post-Spring Break Sunday night, the band had a bouncy and enthusiastic crowd.
The band manages to spend most of its stage time creating the type of mood-lifting pop music that seems like its constantly soaring, with an all-singers-on-deck catchiness that sounds sweeter as it goes along.
Bishop Allen comes from the sunny, angst-free part of Williamsburg, marking their own territory with clever and catchy tunes and a jittery stage presence, with singer Justin Rice especially, as if he's a being wound up by the songs, or else shaking his legs to get help get them out.
"The Ancient Common Sense of Things," from the new Grrr... sounds a bit looser live, but the multi-vocal effect worked just as well. Other highlights were "Empire City," (from 2003's Charm School) one of the band's most straight-ahead rockers; "True Or False," sung by percussionist/marimba player Darbie Nowatka, who could easily take lead vocals for a whole album - Bishop Allen or her own; and the absolutely irrestible "Click, Click, Click, Click," which is good enough to make me forget about its all-too-easy commercial applications.
Bishop Allen - The Ancient Common Sense of Things (live)
Bishop Allen - Shanghied (live)
More Tour Dates:
- Mar 23 L.A. @ Troubadour
- Mar 24 S.F. @ Rickshaw Stop (aa)
- Mar 26 Salt Lake City @ Kilby Court
- Mar 27 Provo @ Velour
- Mar 28 Denver @ Hi-Dive
- Mar 29 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Saloon
- Mar 30 Minneapolis @ Triple Rock (aa/5pm)
- Mar 31 Chicago @ Subterranean (17+)
- Apr 02 Northhampton @ Iron Horse
- Apr 03 Cambridge @ Middle East [D] (18+)
- Apr 04 Brooklyn @ Music Hall of W'burg (16+)
- Apr 05 New York @ Bowery Ballroom (16+)