In town for the first time since the release of their 2015 record Better Nature, Silversun Pickups showed off a new, more unhinged side of themselves that they’ve developed in the past few years. Opening were local band ROMES.
ROMES was an appropriate choice, as they sound very much like a band that would be on a Silversun Pickups themed playlist. Though they lean a little more in a popwards direction, they still have a dark aesthetic similar to SSPU. Singer Jacob Alexander doesn’t sound too much like SSPU frontman Brian Aubert, but he does have a similarly delicate voice, as can be heard in “When the Night Comes”. They closed with their zeitgeist-harnessing single “Tryna Be”, a slice of modern indie pop that would be right at home on rock radio.
SSPU kicked off their set with the title track from their latest album before heading back towards one of their breakthrough singles, “Well Thought Out Twinkles”. Throughout the night they switched back and forth between older cuts and newer selections and it was an interesting dichotomy to behold. Older material veered more towards the shoegaze/grunge sound that garnered the band Smashing Pumpkins comparisons during their early days, while the new tunes had a sort of knowing confidence that they were their own band. There now exists a definitive “Silversun Pickups sound”. Aubert sings in a higher register, with a fuller timbre, and is generally more animated behind the mic nowadays.
It was a relatively short set, but the big hits were all present, from the 2000s classic “Lazy Eye” to the latest single “Nightlight” with its crowd-baiting “We Want It!” chant during the chorus. The bass riff driven “Panic Switch” was a crowd pleaser, as was the newer song “Circadian Rhythm”, where bassist Nikki Monninger took the spotlight. It was a lively show and hopefully the band will return soon to play in a larger venue and a much-desired longer set.