As someone unfamiliar with most traditional contemporary rock bands and their live shows, I wasn’t sure what to expect entering House of Blues Dallas on the night of March 6th. Would I enjoy the performances just as much as I had with other genres of music? Would this one somehow be different? After experiencing this one first hand, however, it’s safe to say that the event fully lived up to any expectations I could have possibly imagined for it.
Opener Paris Jackson, backed by her outstanding band members, performed a short-but-sweet set to start the night off. Switching between vocalist and vocalist-guitarist, her multi-talented performance shined all throughout the band’s set. What’s more, her and her drummer’s comedic stories that oscillated between spoken word and performance added a unique touch to their presence, reminiscent of showmen like Reggie Watts. This aspect of showmanship was especially supplemented by their brief rendition of the closing theme to Spongebob Squarepants, which the audience recognized and appreciated instantly. Still, the group’s music held the spotlight resolutely, engaging crowd members both familiar and unfamiliar with the band through their lively rock tunes.
After a quick transition period between the two sets, the lights slowly dimmed, and the crowd released their excitement in spry cheers for the forthcoming Silversun Pickups. Bathed in red light, the band members took stage one by one, their excitement to be amongst the Dallas crowd as evident as it was with the crowd themselves. And off they went.
Lead singer and guitarist Brian Aubert, whose uniquely pitched vocals need no introduction, set the attitude from the get go. Playing off of bassist Nikki Monninger’s deft notes, Brian returned rapid strokes of his own that soared in pleasant rushes throughout the venue. During the band’s performance of “Well Thought out Twinkles,” the most dynamic cut of the night, the two string instrumentalist took turns volleying mind-boggling progressions that still seem unthinkable even looking back now. Not to mention the group’s drummer, Christopher Guanlao, who did his part in going absolutely ballistic on his kit behind them both. The band’s stage light technician also deserves mention, as he set an excellent tone for a visual portrait of the soundwaves being sent by the band; their coordinated cues played perfectly, making the event a true performance outside of just the music.
Though I’ve definitely said so before, this event was a reminder of why live performances exist. This is the type of music that was meant to be performed, intent on sharing a moment with a captivated audience that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. The band’s encore ended in their most popular release, “Lazy Eye,” a moment that most of the crowd anticipated from the moment they set foot in the building and, for me at least, the moment they knew they’d be attending the concert. During that moment, the crowd felt like one, coalesced in an optimistic front ready to take on the world. It was a reminder of why music exists, as well; instructed by Aubert to hold hands with loved ones, we were unified for the night.