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Sunday, October 2, 2022


Review: Two Door Cinema Club rocks the house

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Cara Smith/The Daily Cougar

It’s a tough night to beat — being willfully engulfed by throbbing grooves and chunky riffs of an incredible power-pop rock group is a fantastic way to spend any Tuesday night. It’s even more impressive when that band has one of the toughest sounds to translate from recording to live rock show — and they manage to pull it off seamlessly.

Two Door Cinema Club, an Ireland-based rock band, performed at the Bayou Music Center at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Having released their sophomore effort, “Beacon,” in 2012 to incredibly critical reception, the guys certainly found themselves welcomed to a significant fan base across the Atlantic.

Entertainment Weekly called Beacon an album that “tempers its galloping pop gait with frontman Alex Trimble’s Ben Gibbard-y confessionals.” BBC Music said that Beacon was “the mark of a band who know their sound, have a newfound confidence and are well-equipped to do some serious damage to the chart this time around.”

The guys took the stage shortly after 10 p.m., plowing through three songs from both “Beacon” and “Tourist History” — the band’s first LP — before pausing to thank Houston for welcoming them back for a show.

After performing “Sleep Alone,” a quick anthem rich with the band’s signature gleaning guitar noodles, the band flaunted “Changing of the Seasons,” a slower, glistening pop-groove track and the title single of their latest EP release. The band’s lead vocalist, Trimble, has a voice that’s rarely rivaled and never quite matched in the genre.

It’s arguably one of the most sonorous, silvery voices in today’s indie-rock scene, and Trimble’s distinctive tenor proved to be even more honeyed in person, most notably in the performance of tracks like “Sleep Alone” and “I Can Talk” that access his full vocal range.

Both tracks were performed explosively by the band — during “I Can Talk”, bassist Kevin Baird sprang atop the stage’s amplifiers and implored the crowd to raise their hands to the incessant groove. Everything about that track is explosive — the chorus, in particular, is laden with glimmering guitars.

Tremble also accessed a vocal range unheard on the recorded version of “Sleep Alone,” crooning out melodious highs that harmonized in perfect synchronicity with the smooth howls of electric guitar.

One of the band’s most popular singles, “What You Know,” a track built on an intricate interplay of cowbell, percussion and high frequency guitar notes, brought the crowd’s screams beyond the point of coherency.

The band is an incredibly noisy one — there’s definitely an order to the madness on each of their LPs, and each of their songs is both infectiously catchy and incredibly layered. It’s a tall order for most bands veering on the edge of noise-pop to bring that same dynamic sound to the stage and not winding up as, well, just noise. Think Sleigh Bells or Arcade Fire.

Luckily, Two Door Cinema Club was up to the challenge. They sounded crystal clear — perhaps, I dare say, even better live. Every aspect of every song was represented with perfect clarity, and viewers were graced with the added bonus of being in the same room as the brilliant creators of such multifaceted music. Sounds like a win-win for seeing these guys in person.

The venue, which holds nearly 3,000, was packed to the brim with a wide array of fans. Giddy, intoxicated hordes of 20-somethings stood in stark contrast with middle-aged men and women looking to enjoy a few brews with one of their favorite bands.

That’s one of the coolest things about Two Door Cinema Club — their distinctive sound perforates across nearly every age, gender and social group. It’s a tough sound to pin down — in some songs, like “Something Good Can Work,” the band seems like one of your run-of-the-mill pop-rock groups. Other tracks, like the bustlingly vibrant “Someday” and “Cigarettes in the Theatre,” suggest the band might be something more of a noise-pop rock group.

And then there are songs like “Sun,” which features brilliant trumpets and trombones and leaves us in awe of just how many genres this band is capable of making into their own.

In typical Irish stoicism, the band paused only a few times throughout the performance to thank the audience — but when they did take a breath, their words rang genuinely and were laden with gratitude.

“Thank you so much, really,” Tremble said somewhat meekly. “Really, we can’t thank you enough for having us here, and we really hope y’all had an incredible night, too.”

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