Silversun Pickups Brought a Raucous Performance to The Tower Theatre
Silversun Pickups at The Tower Theater
Words by Alexandra Voigt | Photos by Timothy Becker
It’s just another Fall Tuesday outside the City of Brotherly Love, but tonight the Silversun Pickups bring a certain West Coast feel to our neck of the woods. Silversun Pickups is currently on their Autumn Tour, and the Tower Theatre is buzzing as fans inside eagerly await the night’s scheduled performances.
Commencing the festivities is the Australian indie-rock band, Atlas Genius, followed by Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings. Each band certainly has its fan following, but the crowd’s engrossment and anticipation for the headlining act to hit the stage has taken first priority at this point.
It is a quarter till 10:00 p.m. and a helicopter-like drone inducts the audience into the royal blue oblivion of “Skin Graph.” Off of Silversun Pickups’ latest compilation, Neck of the Woods, the song gradually gets heavier and rowdier with the help of Brian Aubert’s sexy vocals and the electrifying bass, keyboard, guitar and head-banging drums.
Continuing to carry out the bang of an introduction, the group reels right into Radio 104.5’s (probably) favorite song to use for airplay, “The Royal We.” “The Royal We,” from Swoon, surges into the beaming crowd without a moment of hesitation. While gazing at the individual musicians, I noticed the female bassist jamming out on stage amidst the yellow-orange illuminated scene is not Nikki Monninger. Her name is Sarah Negahdari, singer for The Happy Hollows, and she legitimately rocks out during every song with no holding back whatsoever. A few songs in, Aubert later tells us that Monninger is absent because she is at home pregnant with twins! The jumping-up-and-down Negahdari impressively fills her space well though.
The next few songs played from Neck of the Woods all have a more distinctive beginning-middle-end composition, like that of a carefully thought-out screenplay. Meaningfully slow to become something, the songs: “Simmer” – with lyrics like “that’s where it starts, that’s where it ends” – and “Here We Are (Chancer)” seem very meticulously arranged and steady. The distortion in the guitar and the hollow hit of the drums paired with Aubert’s Thom Yorke-like dancing in “Here We Are” reminds me of Radiohead’s nature.
As much as I like the new album, I loved hearing the older hits like “Little Lover’s So Polite” off Carnavas and Swoon’s “Catch and Release” and “Panic Switch” – even if it means Aubert has to start “Catch and Release” over every time he performs it. (Apparently he didn’t sing the right lyrics, “Part of me… ” in the introduction so he apologized and began again, even though it sounded right to me). Regardless of whatever album the song that was currently being played came from, the fans were still moving and grooving to every different rhythm, old or new. One older, grey and balding fan in particular was joyfully letting loose to the artists’ sound.
Overall, “Panic Switch” definitely evolved into the rowdiest song of the night, along with the ending hit leading into the encore: the very enjoyably raucous “Lazy Eye.” Gathering back on stage for their finale performance, the band jumped into “Busy Bees” and “Out of Breath” until it was time to “…join in the last hurrah…” and finish the night up with “Well Thought Out Twinkles.” The Carnavas track was definitely an energetic and rocking song to top off the show, but I was really thinking (and hoping) we’d hear my favorite, the extremely catchy single: “Substitution.” I suppose I’ll just have to use this as my excuse to go see the Los Angeles natives again.