This past Monday Night, Altar Bar was host to a trio of sets from Vinyl Theatre, Grizfolk and Smallpools. Starting the night off was Vinyl Theatre, whom I had heard on Spotify almost two years ago before their Gold EP was even released. At that time, I felt the few tracks released on Spotify showed promise, particularly “Tokyo”, but that they were still a bit unpolished in their craft. Cut to today, with their full LP “Electrogram”, they have fulfilled that indie electro-pop sounding promise that I was hoping to hear from Vinyl Theatre. Their short set was great and I’ll be looking forward to seeing how their setlist changes on their next tour with The Mowgli’s. This reviewer would sure love the welcome edition of “Stay” on their setlist, but only time will tell how their setlist and stagecraft grows.
Grizfolk continued a night of elecro-pop themed sets, adding a folky feeling into the night that the audience was very much taken with at Altar Bar. Playing a multitude of songs from “From The Spark” EP, Grizfolk smartly got the audience involved several times in their set and brought their excitement up before Smallpools came to take up the stage.
Smallpools’ LOVETAP! LP is one of my favorites of the year thus far, providing that indie electro-pop sound that I absolutely love and their setlist did not disappoint. I love all the details of the show down to the little white Persian Hound statues on the stage that they’ve been using on tours past and present all the way to how their stories on stage are enjoyably obvious as to which song was next in their setlist. They know how to work their fans, with frontman on keys, Sean Scanlon never hesitating to engage with the audience. Whether it was walking on the barrier between the stage and fans, throwing inflatable killer whales into the audience to bounce around, or Scanlon exiting the stage and coming back through the front of Altar Bar, Smallpools knows how to work their fans into a frenzy and involve them in a fantastic show.
-- Long Hong