PHOTOS: Grouplove at The Independent 9/14

GROUPLOVE_postPhotos by James Nagel // Written by Mike Frash

Hyper-hooky Grouplove returned to the Independent as headliners days before the group’s second album Spreading Rumors released September 17. A rabidly excited crowd enjoyed more than a handful of new tunes including lead single “Ways To Go”, but frontman Christian Zucconi and spandex catsuit-clad Hannah Hooper rightfully displayed the most energy in the room, even though a wedding proposal took place to begin the encore.

Grouplove’s lyrics are laboriously didactic and cheesy — but the band has established a large, dedicated audience, so much so that they garner heavy radio play and sold out this show instantly when it went on sale. Really though, what would you expect from an outfit that got mega-big by soundtracking iPod commercials with the candy-coated song “Tongue Tied”.

Plenty of people were having a great time Saturday, but Grouplove can be a tad formulaic and predictable. They read as a repetitious sugar blast of chamber pop, and nearly every song features late-era Michael Jackson doppledanger Zucconi screeching at the top of his lungs, slightly off pitch on purpose — it didn’t exactly hit ‘nails on the chalkboard’ status, but it came close.

The LA-based group is popular enough to play bigger venues than The Indy going forward, and they will. The members are happy and benevolent, and the music they create and perform live seem authentic to who they are — their smiles are genuine and they played a long, passionate show at The Independent. Grouplove really did give it their all.

They are simply too one-note and earnest, wearing heart-on-sleeve without an iota of mysteriousness. But as Hooper said, she’d “rather be a hippy than a hipster.”


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