Two Door Cinema Club blasts roof off HOB

by Courtney Rogin

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Courtesy of Courtney Rogin

Lying between Fifth and Sixth Avenues downtown is a music venue hosting some of the biggest up-and-coming artists in music. What seemed like an endless line of eager fans lined the block at House of Blues, excited to see Two Door Cinema Club take the stage.

Soon after the doors opened, Pacific Northwest indie rockers, The Lonely Forest, started the show with a half-filled house. Fans of Death Cab for Cutie and its related genre would enjoy The Lonely Forest’s symbolic lyrics and guitar riffs. Its songs fit well into the background of teen television dramas describing the perils of high school.

Grouplove, the second band of the night, stole the show. Maybe because it was the last night on that tour for the group, or maybe it was its critically acclaimed debut album, “Never Trust A Happy Song,” but the band’s performance was a lot of fun. It was full of energy, opening with the new single, “Tongue Tied,” which brought energy and power that resonated throughout the entire venue.

The Los Angeles-based group mixed electronic sounds with strong harmonic vocals and rock elements to create a unique form of indie rock. Keyboardist and singer Hannah Hooper donned a long see-through lace dress that left little to the imagination as she danced across the stage during the bridge.

Grouplove is the perfect band to listen to at the beach in the summer or really any other time of the year, especially if needing new party music. It mixes influences of indie and punk rock, and a little bit of country into a perfect mix only fitting for this band.

“Love Will Save Your Soul” was the highlight of Grouplove’s set, which starts out as a quiet crescendo introducing guitars and echoing vocals. At the height of its performance, this song took the crown, letting the band run wild for the rest of the night. Closing out with its most well-known song, “Colours,” Christian Zucconi’s screaming vocals dominated and ended a dynamic and enlivening night.

Two Door Cinema Club appeared onstage in front of a lighting setup that should have come with a “sunglasses required” warning, as it was brighter than the sun. The band kicked off the show with the opening track on “Tourist History,” titled, “Cigarettes in the Theater,” which was a great fast-paced song. The audience was packed full of kids and adults alike, all ready to dance.

“This is the Life” was the highlight of the night. It was the slowest and possibly most unique one out of Two Door Cinema Club’s entire songbook. Even live, this is the band’s “anthemic” song, which is surprisingly quieter during the verses.

Two Door Cinema Club fits really well into the dancehall music genre it has catered its debut album toward. None of the songs, when played live, aim to stand out among the others, which isn’t a negative aspect, per se. However, adding a little variety to the same general beat from one song to the next during a show would be great. Some of the most memorable moments of the show were when the band aimed to shy away from sounding like the album was just playing out of the venue’s stereo.

After the quick 75-minute set, covering all the songs in its album, the band closed the night with “I Can Talk,” a song that sounds like something off the latest The Postal Service album, all in all a pleasant surprise. It is mainly the vocals that ring true to a Ben Gibbard side project comparison.

Overall, the night was a sold-out success. Everyone danced his or her way through three great indie rock bands. With The Lonely Forest and Grouplove having now made their debut San Diego appearances, and successful ones at that, it is safe to say all the bands are welcome to come back anytime.

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