Friday, January 17, 2014
Concert review: Tennis made Deep Ellum listeners swoon from new songs and fresh flavors
The band has been through Dallas three times since mid-2012, but Thursday's show felt unique.
DEEP ELLUM Oftentimes, it’s easy to compartmentalize indie bands with a specific sound or vibe. But when Tennis came through Club Dada Thursday night, the Denver-based group not only made a strong case for its infamy in the blogosphere, but also managed to break its own mold.
Fans were anxious were to fall in love with Tennis’ infectious blend of dream-pop, evident by the entry line that extended down the block and around the corner of Elm Street in Deep Ellum. Just the sight of the line took attendees by surprise, many of who said they had never seen Club Dada so packed.
By about 10:45 p.m., the show had sold out.
The supporting band for the event was billed as Poor Moon, an easy-breezy pop four-piece; however, for an undisclosed reason, only the band’s leader Christian Wargo was present Thursday evening. Armed with an acoustic guitar and drum pad, Wargo entertained crowds with his imaginative songwriting that transported listeners to the beach.
Shortly thereafter, Tennis sent an indie wave washing over the audience with “Mean Streets,” a newer song off November’s Small Sound EP. While the band made sure play crowd pleasers like “It All Feels the Same” and “Petition” off 2012’s breakthrough full-length Young & Old, they didn’t rest on their laurels.
Fronted by the adorably seductive Alaina Moore in red lipstick and leopard hot pants, the four-piece weaved a retro funk sound into the set. Brand new songs such as “Needle and the Knife” set sail from a port of soul-inspired keys and sultry vocals while maintaining Tennis’ signature tone. The band also added a saxophone player for one song near the end of the set.
The concert was a refreshing change of pace for what could have been a night of musical monotony. Tennis has been to Dallas three times since mid-2012, and Thursday played three fresh-off-the-press tunes in addition to the majority of Small Sound. The show felt one of a kind.
Moore’s candor helped, too. The frizzy-haired heartthrob dubbed Dallas the sassiest city she’s toured -- (“I mean that in a good way,” Moore said) -- and candidly dedicated a song to the mouse in Dada’s green room.
All the pieces fell perfectly into place for Tennis on its latest Dallas stop, in no small part due to the band’s fresh flavors. That sort of progression will continue to draw crowds locally, perhaps to a bigger venue next time.
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