The party kicked off early Wednesday night at Stubbs with the doors opening at 7 and the first of three featured indie pop bands, Little Comets, taking the stage shortly after. Atlas Genius was the marquee name on the bill but the entire show was stellar as it featured a variety of indie pop from L.A., England, and Australia.
Little Comets were up first, playing jangled retro-pop that was fortified with their English-flavored charisma. Brothers Robert and Michael Coles summoned catchy harmonies and succeeded in captivating the crowd that had been savvy enough to show up early.
The next band’s sound was best described by their merch guy as “Posi-Core”, a fusion of hardcore with positivity. This Malibu quartet produced a wall of sound that melded their sunny pop melodies with old psychedelic tendencies. Despite the entire band having the flu, these sun-bleached Californians still managed to play a great set
Atlas Genius was up next and the poshly dressed Australian indie pop quartet kicked off their set with “On A Day”, which set the tone for the energetic and heartfelt melodies that would be on tap all night. The band followed their opening song with their highly addictive hit “If So” which highlighted lead singer, Keith Jeffrey’s stellar vocals but also showed that Atlas Genius has the rare ability to sound better live than on record, quite the accomplishment.
While Atlas Genius’s performance was firing on all cylinders, the crowd seemed have a dichotomy in respect to general interest. The front half of the crowd was engulfed in the show while the back seemed aloof and uninterested, carrying on conversations while remaining motionless, which may have been an effect of the low decibel levels
The highlight of the night came when the band launched into a visceral rendition of another one of their hits, “Back Seat”, which they began singing as an acapella and then lit it blossom into a raucous down-home jam by it’s end. The song “Symptoms” was also a highlight, showing a darker, more ominous side of the band.
The band would end their set with their most well known song, “Trojans”, and then follow up with a two-song encore to cap off what Keith casually told the crowd was their “Best show on the tour yet”.
While Atlas Genius is by no means groundbreaking in its style or form, they deftly differentiate themselves from the multitudes of other indie pop bands by blending up-tempo beats, soring vocals, and infectious riffs with a gravitating dose of ominousness that serves to add depth to their pop sound.