Soundwaves: Spreading Rumours about Grouplove

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Photo by Pamela Littky

Rumour has it that the group at the Music Farm on Sunday night sure did show a lot of love for the main act of the night, and I’m here to confirm. Grouplove brought a high-energy performance that exploded into an indie pop-rock rave. The five-piece band, which formed from the pool of individuals at an artist commune in Greece (cool story, btw), had just played the day before in Manchester, TN, but the outdoor fest was no match for the Music Farm’s sticky humidity that consumed the entire venue as the dancing heightened.

“And we thought Bonnaroo was supposed to be our hottest date of the tour,” joked vocalist Christian Zucconi behind a sweat-drenched mane. The humidity didn’t dampen his piercing vocal chords, however, which delivered throughout the show.

The psychedelic, energetic crew consisting of Hannah Hooper, Christian Zucconi, Daniel Gleason, Ryan Rabin, and Andrew Wessen displayed their wild and free yet intimate music in full force. “When we are making a record, we think ‘What do we want to be playing every night for the next few years?’” explains guitarist Wessen. “We want something that translates life. I’m sure one day we will come out with a slow, beautiful record, but there’s a certain joy from an upbeat, live show.” Most recent disc Spreading Rumours keeps a lively pace from bouncy and terminally catchy “I’m With You” to mellow rock turns hyper pop “Schoolboy,” both songs that made it to the Sunday night set list.

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The crowd went absolutely crazy for 2012 disc Never Trust A Happy Song’s radio hit “Tongue Tied,” lyrics shouting from the stage and back at it even louder. Grouplove kept the hype when transitioning between newer and older tracks, adding a live vivacity that the digital tracks simply can’t convey. “The only thing we really know how to do at a show is go wild and crazy,” says Wessen. “We don’t know how to perform halfway. We are semi-out of control. It feels like we are on a runaway train; contained chaos.” I mean, for the opening track, Zucconi dove off the stage, kicking things off with a solid crowd surf.

Amongst the show’s tracks was crowd pleaser and featured song “Let Me In” from tearjerker summer blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars, which inspired a slow groove across the room. Things turned sensual with the best surprise of the night, an unexpectedly sick cover of Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love.” Another memorable moment was a crazy, hyped up, techno glowstick drumstick segment with an intense light show. The weirdest moment came with ear-splitting reverb that played the entire time between the main set and encore. What was up with that? It was worth destroying my future hearing for, however, because my favorite moment had to be closing number, “Colours,” which I was almost afraid wouldn’t make the cut.

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The evening ended with flowers thrown on stage and accepted with a humble gratitude that might not be expected of typical rock stars. A message of (group)love transcended and encompassed the entire show.

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