Love Is All at the Turf Club
(review by Jon Schober, photos by Adam Bubolz)
Love Is All really surprised me. I know their discography is tight and well-rehearsed, every element in its right place, but I could never fully detect what exactly made their albums so catchy on the outset.
Friday night’s performance at the Turf Club made everything fall into place. The venue was by no means very packed, odd for such incredible openers like Tyvek and Nurses, as well as the late addition to the bill, mysterious, local Susstones band BNLX. But then again, this was the same night as The xx and jj at the Varsity, Galactic at the Cabooze, and Meat Puppets at The Entry. I will venture out on a limb though and suggest that Love Is All played the catchiest, most solid show of the bunch.
The energy that came out of the Swedish quintet was so astonishing that the rest of those in attendance at the Turf seemed taken aback as well. While only a smattering of people were present on the main floor during the first song, by the time the follow-up tune had rolled around, it was a jumbled crowd of head-bobbing, as the band tore through much of their third and most recent album, “Two Thousand and Ten Injuries.” Lead singer Josephine, in her short stature and innocent guise, debunked that typical impression to shreds, as she screeched every word into the microphone with precision and liveliness. The rest of the band, her “men” in an essence, belted out each tune behind her in a fantastic echo. On drums, Marcus was truly a feat to watch, hitting the kit with such fast pace it was hard to keep up with what his sticks were pounding, much less when other band members simultaneously played the drums with him.
Highlights came during “New Beginnings,” one of their best songs to date off the second album, “A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night,” and an obvious crowd pleaser by the amount of people yelling for it; the dual, “whispered” boy-girl vocals really lent some awesome depth to the traditionally fast-paced, pop-punk vibe acquired through much of the hour long set. I was nervous to see how their new album would translate live, given its drastically different direction, tighter vocals and instruments, less sax, and more hollow sound. But somehow the band worked these songs to be even more of a pleasure, and tunes like “Repetition” and “Never Now” were a beautiful breath of fresh air among the stride of post-punk vitality typical of a Love Is All show.