GROUPLOVE received an explosion of energy from adoring fans as they jumped onstage and opened the show with “Lovely Cup.” The song got the crowd going, inspiring them to climb on each other’s arms for a better view. The band continued with “Itching on a Photograph,” an infectious sing-clap-and-whoop-along in the style of The Killers. Personally, I love this song and I found myself caught up in the air lifted by the helpful hands of the fans that brought me closer to the stage to take better photographs. Thank you, guys. We got great photographs because of your lift.
Next up was ”Love Will Save Your Soul,” then “Don’t Say Oh Well,” followed by “Gold Coast.” The crowd loved every note; however, when “Naked Boys” was played, the fans went into a frenzy, singing the chorus at a top-of-the-lungs volume. The band then presented renditions of “Spun,” “Chloe,” and “Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten.” “Slow” ended the set, but the crowd showed their appreciation and quickly brought the band back for an encore. And what better song to play than “Tongue Tied”?
The encores continued with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” one of the most beautiful covers of Whitney Houston’s song I’ve ever heard. And the final song of the night (lucky 13) was “Colours,” a song I always play to make my spirits high.
GROUPLOVE formed out of a friendship. Hannah Hooper met Christian Zucconi one evening on the lower east side of Manhattan. From that night forward the two could hardly be pulled apart, and, after hearing and enjoying Christian’s music, she invited him to an artist residency in Crete. It was here where they met the three other members of the band — Andrew Wessen, Ryan Rabin, and Sean Gadd.
An accomplished drummer and producer, Ryan Rabin is the son of former Yes guitarist and film composer, Trevor Rabin. He grew up in California with surfer and guitarist Andrew Wessen. Lastly, representing the musical talents of Great Britain is Sean Gadd, a songwriter and guitarist from London. The friendship between the members blossomed quickly, but the band did not formalize it until a year later after Sean, Christian, and Hannah made a trip to Ryan’s recording studio in Los Angeles. That arrival day, to show their sincere commitment to their music, they all got the name of the band printed in ink on their bodies. That GROUPLOVE tattoo will stay forever in the true music lover’s skin.
They played their first show at El Cid in Los Angeles on May 10, 2010. While touring alongside Florence + the Machine early the following year, they managed to finalize their full-length album, Never Trust a Happy Song. On June 18, 2012, “Tongue Tied” reached the Number One position on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, becoming their first number one single.
Mostly, their debut album offers many reasons to be cheerful. Never Trust a Happy Song evokes pop colors bright enough to glow at tempos short of manic. Christian’s vocals have a wonderful quality — part unleashed puppy and part unhinged young artist — and he leads the band members as they frolic and summersault their way through summery, anthemic pop that disallows unhappy thoughts or dark clouds (never mind the ironic title). This full-length debut imparts so much sunshine and good vibes that it’s hard to imagine any music fan dismissing them.
On this 2012 tour, GROUPLOVE decided to ensure that their most loyal fans got the first opportunity to buy tickets. For most shows, they will offer tickets before they go on sale to the general public via their personal site. Sign up to get the latest and greatest news at grouplovemusic.com. Join the fun and friendship on facebook.com/GROUPLOVE.