Show Review: Tennis at the Parish

Song: “Cape Dory” – Tennis

A cold snap hit Austin last night when the temperature dropped over twenty degrees and a perfect day devolved into an icy unforgiving night. Yet the sudden weather swing had little effect on Austin’s loyal fans of the band Tennis, all of whom whom trudged out to the Parish to witness a justifiably sold-out show. Fleet Foxes side project Poor Moon would serve as the opening band, but the heavy lifting would be left to the much anticipated indie pop darlings, Tennis, who came to town on tour with a new five track EP called Small Sound.

Opening band, Poor Moon, was a strategic choice to open for Tennis as their low-key indie pop proved a stepping stone to Tennis’s shimmering choruses and more ebullient stylings. Poor Moon is a side project of Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott, both current members of the band Fleet Foxes and, despite sporting some new band members and a changed nomenclature, the band sounds and feels nearly identical from the band whence it sprung.

Tennis played an egalitarian set consisting of equal portions off their new EP Small Sound and previous two albums, Cape Dory and Young and Old. Alaina Moore’s voice was angelic and pure, giving many of Tennis’s songs a poetic feel. By working through songs like “South Carolina,” “Petition,” and “Marathon,” Tennis was able to enervate the crowd with some well-known hits while including a variety of lesser-known material that kept their more well-versed fans content. Alaina’s stage presence is undeniably potent, and her captivating presence held the Austin audience in a trance-like state for the duration of the set.

After working up a sweat from a twelve-song set, Tennis left the stage, only to return a minute later for a three-song encore that included crowd pleasers “Cape Dory” and “Origins.” After blowing kisses and promising to return to Austin soon, Alaina walked off stage gracefully, with every pair of eyes in the audience following her. With all of the bloated and unsubstantial bands that float through their musical careers, it is refreshing to see a band like Tennis out there with no bells and whistles that permeates an unadulterated air of musical purity in their uplifting indie pop.

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