Judging by the type of crowd that formed a line snaking around Old National Centre last Friday night, one would think J. Crew and Urban Outfitters were putting on a fashion show in The Egyptian Room. But the stylish pack of all-ages comers came to see L.A. rockers GROUPLOVE—or “The Group Love,” according to elderly staff members and mothers escorting their teens.
GROUPLOVE brought a vibe to the room that many bands wouldn’t be able to bring to cities more than 2,000 miles away from their home bases. This wasn’t just a concert for a mass of hipsters to be seen at, or a place to kick off a Friday night after a long work week. This was a fully engaged audience feeding off the contagious nonstop energy of the free-spirited five-piece act that, lest you forget, would rather be hippies than hipsters. Aside from frontman Christian Zucchoni dropping his guitar during the encore, the pitch-perfect performance proved they’re certainly one of indie rock’s promising up-and-coming acts.
As Hannah Hooper (vocals and keys) said in her IM interview prior to the show, they’re usually spontaneous with their cover songs. Last Friday they kept true to their trendy qualities and covered Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “Drunk in Love,” and of course the crowd knew the lyrics. Indy also got premiere live performances of “Didn’t Have to Go” and the psychedelic bonus track “Beans On Pizza”—both off the band’s new record, Spreading Rumours. This show was recorded to boot, and GROUPLOVE encouraged fans to vote on their website for a favorite song of the night, with the live recording receiving the most votes to be e-mailed to fans the next morning. That’s not just trendy; it’s practically pioneering.
Overall, the night made for a bona fide dance party with distorted guitar riffs, headbanging half-time swells, and a trippy light show. And it was all done amicably, with a hodgepodge fashion sense that matches GROUPLOVE’s sound—quirky and canny.