Givers - 10/16/15 at Valley Bar

By Jesii Dee

I arrived at the blessed basement that is known as Valley Bar midway through the first song (I always appreciate a band that starts on time, but am usually also caught off guard by it). The stage was filled with neon insanity! The members of Givers were decked out in glowing outfits, even adorning their instruments with neon, and the lights were what I can only call what it looks like when you were 3-D glasses, but you're not looking at the IMAX screen. It was wild to say the least. My eyes adjusted to the whole spectacle, and I was able to focus on what they were actually doing musically.

They played through a lot of their new material from the as-yet-to-be-released record, New Kingdom. It's a bit of a departure from their first record in that the vocals are less in the spotlight, and the intensely layered guitars, drums, synth and bass are taking the lead. Ten points to the keys and synth player; not only for his straight out of the 70's outfit, but for his wild dance moves and hair. How you can play without literally seeing what you're doing is always impressive to me. They were also generous with their crowd interactions, calling out in appreciation to those in the crowd who were losing their minds during the songs. 

After playing what was announced as their last song, co-lead singer Taylor Guarisco said that they were "not going to do that thing where they walk off stage and then come back, and instead they would actually play two more songs," as to not disrupt the energy of the crowd; which is a wise choice, always, in my book. Playing their most notable single, “Up Up Up,” off their first record, In Light, the crowd sang and danced along with the catchy pop tune. Their last song was their most recent single, “Record High Record Low,” which included a rock star moment from singer Tiffany Lamson walking out into the crowd and then standing on the speakers at the end. It was one of the most genuine energetic exchanges between performers and a crowd that I've seen in a long time; a testament to the power GIVERS has to catch, keep and hold the attention of those listening. 

Heartless Bastards - 10/18/15 at Crescent Ballroom

The Sheepdogs - 10/13/15 at Rebel Lounge