I’ve seen a lot of shows in my time, and a ton of shows just in the past few months, but there haven’t been any I’ve recently been more excited for than the Atlas Genius show at The Bluebird last Friday night - I was certainly not let down! Atlas Genius stole my heart the first day I heard “Trojans” in rotation on KTCL (93.3fm), and since then I have been following their social media sites religiously, tracking their tour schedule, and since my own personal schedule kept me from seeing them open for Imagine Dragons in March, I felt like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning by the time May 31st rolled around.
Opening the night was New York band Haerts, who played a unique, mellow, pop-synth style of music. Lead singer Nini Fabi has a gentle voice, which was met with relaxed instrumentation from the band backing her. Fabi is from Germany, and her accent would quaintly peak through at the most subtle times, making her singing very interesting for the passive listener. The band’s short but sweet set was met by applause and praise from the audience, celebrating drummer Jonathan Schmidt who is from Denver.
Next up was another New York act called The Postelles. With a sound that felt like a strange combination of The Kooks with hints of The Beach Boys, the Postelles may be one of my favorite new musical finds. The 4-piece band took stage quickly and calmly, and seemed focused on playing their music and having fun. The crowd was excited and really got into their set, interacting and cheering along; I even caught myself singing along to certain hooks by the end of some songs. The thing that I took most away from watching their set was what a fun time it seemed like they were having simply performing together. With a sound that genuinely makes me dream of East Coast Preppy summers, I’d recommend checking them out for anyone building a summer playlist.
At long last, The Postelles left the stage, and the moment I had long waited for had arrived: Atlas Genius. I had picked up on this band when only their EP, “Through The Glass” was available, and couldn’t wait to hear the rest of their new album “When It was Now” live. Since brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery are the only official members of the band, I wondered how such a dynamic sound would be brought to life on stage: to my surprise, they're touring with a keys/synth, and bass player as well. The band took to stage with raw power and tons of movement; playing with such conviction and heavy power, it was exciting to watch.
The awesome performance only continued to get better through the rest of their set, with guitarist and lead singer Keith taking to the audience for a guitar solo during “Back Seat”, literally weaving through fans while playing without missing a beat! Playing other songs like “If So” (one of my favorites), “Electric”, and an acoustic version of “All These Girls”, I almost liked the broken down, heavy, live versions of these songs better than the album recordings. After ending “All These Girls”, Keith invited a gentleman from the audience up onto stage to make an announcement. Saying, “My girlfriend doesn’t think that I can surprise her anymore, sooo...” he pulled out A WEDDING RING! It was touching, beautiful, and the gentle smirk on Keith’s face was the perfect sign showing that he was honored to have been able to be a part of this couple’s special day. When asked about it after the show, the band admitted that it was all a last minute plan by the groom, and we're so honored to have been there to capture the moment! Ending the night with their single “Trojans”, Keith opened the song by saying “this song is about a horse with no name...we’re not even sure it’s a horse”.
A great night beginning to end, things were only made better when I learned that their merchandise lady happens to be their mom, and that their father is working as their sound engineer! It's delightful to see a family affair like that working so well in today' industry, and certainly blew me away just a bit more. Great music, wonderful people, and clearly well rounded gentlemen, I couldn’t have been MORE impressed with Friday night’s show! It was truly and honor to finally be able to watch them perform live.