Los Angeles indie rock group Silversun Pickups played Friday night at a sold-out show at the Ritz Ybor. The venue, which is all general admission, had people filling up every open spot – standing, jumping and dancing – and anticipating which song the band would open with. The Ritz was a perfect location for an audience that was thirsty for the openers to finish and the Pickups to come out. Fans were lining up before the show trying to get the best spot – the front bar – the closest anyone can get to the performers.
Pickups bassist Nikki Monninger’s vocals got lost at times because of how soft her voice is, but she still sounded great along with the rest of the band. While lead singer Brian Aubert’s vocals echoed throughout the theatre, the opening acts were equally as impressive, specifically Against Me! For anyone who enjoys authentic punk rock, these guys should already be familiar. But if not, they’re definitely worth the listen.
The Silversun Pickups still stood out with their incredible instrumental in the opening song “Growing Old is Getting Old.” Aubert sometimes got carried away playing longer pieces, and the audience showed signs of quieting down, but then when he would get back on track and finish the song.
Aubert thanked the crowd and mentioned that they were “sorry for taking so long in coming back to Florida.”
The Pickups stopped once or twice to share a few words with the audience, but for the most part, they played their songs back to back, which only amped up the crowd more. Monnigers and Aubert’s teasing of the chords to “Lazy Eye” – the band’s first hit single – and asking each other which song they should play got the audience to quiet down just enough. As they both jumped around and played the chords, Auber nodded toward Monniger one last time and then they played the intro, which is when the audience went into a frenzy.
The band closed the night with “Common Reactor,” which seems to be a favorite of theirs, as it’s been their closing song for a quite a few shows.
The Pickups were joined by Against Me! (Florida natives) and indie group the Henry Clay People, who opened the show.
Henry Clay People played a set with slower, melodic vocals in comparison to the other two bands. With only five years under its belt, the band has an impressive history of playing numerous well-known festivals. They did, however, showcase the more energetic side of indie rock, from time to time.
The show brought together three bands that hold true to different genres, but it made a point of showing that musicians, despite differences in genre, can still come together. For anyone who couldn’t make the show, a huge privilege was lost. One can only hope that the Silversun Pickups won’t take as long to return to the area.
1. Growing Old is Getting Old
2. Well Thought Out Twinkles
3. Sort Of
4. There’s No Secrets This Year
5. The Royal We
6. Little Lover’s So Polite
7. It’s Nice to Know You Work Alone
8. Future Foe Scenarios
9. Kissing Families
10. Catch and Release
11. Panic Switch
12. Lazy Eye
15. Rusted Wheel
16. Common Reactor