Skip to content

Grouplove @ Underground Arts.

October 1, 2013

Grouplove02Text and images by Beth Ann Downey.

Grouplove makes their mantra clear in the song “Hippy Hill” when they proclaim, “I’d rather be a hippie than a hipster.”

However they choose to identify, it’s obvious from two recent sold-out shows in different venues that Philadelphians think the quirky indie pop rock band is pretty hip, at least.

Grouplove01The band played Union Transfer this past Saturday and then again on Monday at Underground Arts for what was advertised as an acoustic set in the smaller venue.

Monday’s show started off with openers The Rubens playing an “as close as we can get to acoustic” set to the backdrop of smoke and psychedelic lighting. The five-piece, bluesy piano rock band with an old-school Maroon 5 vibe delivered a just-mellow-enough set for the sold-out crowd so as not to over power the night’s main attraction.

“Is it Monday? I’m very impressed with all of you,” said frontman Sam Margin of the crowd’s energy before playing the band’s song “Look Good, Feel Good.”

The native Australians asked how many people had been at the show on Saturday and many affirmed.

“Enjoy Grouplove, the best, funnest band we’ve ever toured with,” Margin said.

They ended with the song “My Gun,” which they said has been mistaken for being about gun violence since they’ve been touring in the states.

“It’s about love guys, it’s about love,” Margin said. “It’s just a metaphor.”

During the break before Grouplove even went on, you could hear people humming the intro to “Naked Kids” in the crowd. An early drum test started a slow clap.

The band took the stage and opened with “I’m With You,” the first track off their new album Spreading Rumors, released Sept. 17. From the get-go, it was apparent this “acoustic” set was still fully backed with percussion and other add-ons.

“This is a crazy acoustic show,” said singer Hannah Hooper after playing their hit “Itchin’ On a Photograph” and before launching into another new song, “Raspberry.”

The band’s excitement to entertain the Philly crowd certainly hadn’t wavered despite Saturday night’s even larger sold out show.

“We thought two nights ago was the best night,” said guitarist and vocalist Christian Zucconi, later on adding, “We’ve been having the best few days in Philadelphia.”

Grouplove played through crowd favorites like “Bowls,” “Tongue Tied,” “Lovely Cup” and “Shark Attack,” as well as a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will Find You In The End.” Then, they surprised the audience with a song they said was written in Rittenhouse Square the night before.

“It’s only got like two lines to it. But It’s influenced by Philadelphia as you’ll see,” said Zucconi before the band started singing rounds of the half-baked verse or chorus that carried the city’s namesake. “Don’t be surprised if you hear that song later on and we expand it.”

Grouplove’s marathon set ended with their biggest hit “Colours” and they exited the stage after taking a much-deserved bow.

For a band that knows just how to sing harmony and write a memorable melody, Grouplove played a pair of shows that Philly will remember for a while.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: