The Sounds: Sounding good at The Regency


By Tom Dellinger //

The Sounds with Blondfire, Strange Talk //
The Regency Ballroom — San Francisco
Friday March 21, 2014 //

Swedish indie rockers The Sounds made a stop in San Francisco as they continued an extensive US tour in support of their latest studio offering, Weekend. Hugely popular at home in Sweden and across Europe, they enjoy a well earned reputation as an excellent live band. Over the past fifteen years this band has been together, they have also made a number of excursions to the US where they’ve opened for several well known acts (No Doubt, The Strokes, Panic at the Disco, Vans Warped Tour), a 2004 appearance at Coachella and a headlining tour of their own last fall which included a stop at The Fillmore. On Friday night, they brought it to The Regency Ballroom where they delivered a show that showcased their signature pumping pop rock dance numbers, and more.


With a superb, tight band behind her, vocalist Maja Ivarsson took the stage and opened up in classic fashion akin to a rock goddess. Stunningly attired in short leather jacket, shorts and heels, all eyes and ears were immediately focused on her. She appeared fit and quickly attacked the performance with an intensity that she sustained throughout the evening. Ivarsson has an impressive voice and coupled with her engaging personality, she had the crowd with her from the very start. She comes on confident, with a swagger, working up and down the stage. Leaning over to get closer contact with the audience, she keeps the energy and engagement high.

Musically, The Sounds are a mix of many styles and references, but copies of none. You can hear the influences of new wave, punk, synth pop, classic rock and more. They are all that and much more. A listen to their catalog reveals a band in motion; moving forward with an evolving sound and style, both musically and lyrically. Sadly, it appears they remain a bit under the radar in our area as attendance was on the low side. However, those that were there knew this band and had a good idea of what they were going to see. This band has the material and the ability to turn a show into something remarkable, and for those of us who were there, we were richly rewarded.

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