Grouplove has been one of my favorite bands the past few years. I’ve been listening to Big Mess on repeat since the album was released. So when I heard they were playing in Kansas City, I had to go.
We got to the venue late, missing the opener Dilly Dally and hearing a few songs from MUNA. They sounded okay, but I was more focused on the fact that Grouplove was about to perform. Their stage decorations were different from what I’ve usually seen. Instead of a poster of their album or a “set”, they had colorful hands similar to those on the Big Mess album cover hanging down, which I thought was really different and cool.
One of my friends who went with me talked about how he was listening to a Grouplove interview, and they mentioned Kansas City was one of their favorite places to perform. That was abundantly clear as they all seemed to love being there as much as the audience loved seeing them perform.
They did a great job of playing songs from all three of their albums. Personally, I didn’t like their second album, Spreading Rumors, as much as I liked their first album, Never Trust a Happy Song. But listening to them play “Raspberry” and “Borderlines and Aliens” live really made me fall in love with the songs, and want to give the album another listen.
Anyone who knows of Grouplove knows that their songs are all upbeat, fun, hippie-esque songs, and they were able to keep everyone up and dancing throughout their entire setlist. Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi, the main vocalists, had a large hand in that, with their jolly rancher-colored hair and outfits that looked as if they were from the 80s or 90s.
Speaking of the 90s, midway through their set they did a great cover of “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys, followed by “Welcome to Your Life”. The band then proceeded to run off stage, Zucconi returning with his and Hooper’s infant child, who was wearing large ear plugs and staring doe-eyed at the applauding audience. She then greeted everyone by putting the microphone in her mouth.
After taking the child back off stage, Zucconi returned to perform an acoustic version of “Enlighten Me”. The rest of the band joined in to perform the last chorus, making the song that much more impactful. My description doesn’t do it justice, but it was easily my favorite part of their entire performance.
They ended the night with what is probably my favorite song of theirs “Colours”. The light show the entire night had been pretty impressive, but the stage looked like a rainbow exploded on it. Hearing them repeating “It’s the colors you have/ No need to be sad/ It really ain’t that bad” was a great way to end the show, even though “Colours” isn’t one of their most popular songs.
This concert is probably one of my favorite concerts of all time, and is easily the best concert I’ve been to this year. I will definitely see them the next time they come this way.
By: Monica Brich