Live Review, 4/30/12: Tennis Evokes Springtime Feelings at the Independent
Tennis at the Independent last night.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Better than: Getting roofied
With lingering sunlight, fresh daffodils, and Cadbury Creme Eggs on sale, it's officially springtime -- and everywhere I look, I find couples holding hands, making out on park benches, softly swaying together in time at concerts. (By the way, this strict no-pets policy at local venues is killing date night with my cat.)
Tonight it's me and three girls -- four singles in a city, tell me you haven't heard this one before -- swaying together in time at a sold-out Independent show to the songs of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, the married couple who comprise Tennis.
Their story is that of female legend: Riley and Moore fell in love in college in Colorado, and, instead of opting for the nine-to-five, sold their possessions and bought a sailboat, taking a long trip along the Eastern Seaboard. When they returned to land, they became Tennis, releasing Cape Dory in 2011, a nostalgic journey of an album about sailing with the one you love.
Riley and Moore take the stage, he on guitar, she on keyboards, in coordinated outfits: he's wearing tight white jeans and brown leather tasseled loafers; she's in skinny white jeans with delicate blue flowers and a faded denim jacket. Despite the sedate Monday night crowd, they sing and dance with the happiness that brought them, more than a year later, to this moment.
On this night, my friend is celebrating her 26th birthday. We discuss, between opener Wild Belle and Tennis, the 200 Facebook wall posts she'd received that day and how it had made her feel so lonely she started to cry. We pass around the Tennis love story and one of the girls who hadn't heard it before gasps "OMG." Another friend talks about recently ending her year-plus relationship -- they had never reached the "I love you" moment.
Moore's vocals have grown fuller since Tennis' Bottom of the Hill show in December, and the band's new album, Young & Old, shows maturity. Instead of wistful, small songs about sailing, the band's new sound is more R&B than twee. Moore, a petite woman with wild curly hair, her only previous singing experience having been in a childhood church choir, seems to have come into her own as a vocalist.
A few songs in, Moore says, "I never do this, but I need a drink." Someone from the crowd passes her a Budweiser and she takes a swig, adding, "I hope I didn't just get roofied. If I did, at least we all know who did it."