Last night, the Hard Rock in Hollywood was packed for a very special free Grouplove performance. Celebrating their forthcoming album Big Mess, the performance was part of The Encore Live, which is Live Nation TV and Hard Rock’s new program celebrating the encore as an art form. In my experience, the encore is the most controversial part of a live show, but Grouplove certainly put an end to the argument with a fun set, appealing to old and new fans alike.
The Hard Rock is a very cool space to catch a show, with a round stage to experience Grouplove in three hundred sixty degrees. There was no opening act, but Franki Chan was the DJ for the night, and he was playing all the goods. That was all the warmup we needed before the main act took the stage.
Because this was part of the Encore Live program, the show was organized a little differently than most concert-goers are used to. Grouplove came out and played a few songs from their first two albums, such as “Beans on Pizza” and “Shark Attack,” which every person around me knew by heart; then vocalist Hannah Hooper spilled the beans: “So we’re gonna play one more song, then leave, then come back out for our Encore. It’s gonna be really special!”
Even with this insider knowledge, the crowd still lost it when the first half of the set was up. They even began an “encore” chant as if their lives depended on it. Dutifully, the band returned to the stage, with some heartfelt words about the theme of the night. They began this half of the set with an anecdote about the first time they ever played an encore at a show here in Los Angeles, and how the song they chose meant a lot to them. Then they launched into “Colours,” their first single from their very first EP.
They ended up playing many of recognizable singles from the catalogue- “Tongue Tied,” “Ways To Go,” even something not from their catalogue, a cover of Cage the Elephant — and even teased us with a track from their upcoming LP, due out this September. A check of Twitter at the end of the night can affirm that it was a great time had by all, including the band. “I see a lot of familiar faces out here, of people that have been with us since the very beginning,” Hooper told us. “We thank you for that. That is Grouplove.”
Words: Zoë Elaine
Photography: Danielle Gornbein