Concert Review: Alpine at Great Scott in Allston, MA
Reviewed by: Dorise Gruber
I’ll admit that when I signed on to check out the Alpine show at Great Scott this week, I was a little apprehensive. I’d seen the Aussie electropop sextet do a pretty great cover of Radiohead’s “Just” on The Onion’s AV Club Undercover series, but after catching their NPR Tiny Desk Concert, leading ladies Phoebe Baker and Lou James struck me as cartoonishly cutesy lounge singers, trying a little too hard to be adorable. Torn on whether they were in fact talented singers or just doe-eyed, thick-tongued, sexy babies, I was pleasantly surprised by the hipster zumba dance party that ensued in Allston earlier this week.
And when I say hipster zumba dance party, I mean the stage involved such classic moves as:
~Running in place
~The backwards swim (classic)
~Aly Sheedy hands at the end of the Breakfast Club dance scene
~Billy Blanks tae-bo double-time fist roll
~Mic stand tambourine-spanking
~Audience member head-rubbing
~Any silly body contortion you can imagine – yeah. That. If the goal was to be as weird as possible, they weirded the crap out of that stage. I mean that as a compliment.
Curious what kind of outfits these zany ladies were rocking? Phoebe was wearing all black with modern-day hammer pants that cut short above the ankle, and short tan socks with little foxes under her shoes (the shoes and socks didn’t take long to get tossed around the stage). Lou was wearing an art-deco romper with a braided gold belt, black spanx peeking out from under the romper, and iridescent silver pants beneath the spanx. If you’re trying to picture how they would possibly consider doing this without silver eye glitter, rest assured, your imagination is well in tact. Eye glitter, check.
The ancillary dudes on stage played their roles appropriately – the bassist and the drummer were the most animated, the bassist in full-rocker mode with triangle stance and glasses tipped to the edge of his nose from whipping around so much. The drummer was right in the game too, with energetic thwacking sticks soaring behind the kooky leadettes. The keyboardist and guitarist were clearly into their jams but less interesting to watch – really, the girls brought the show. And despite the modest-sized crowd, everybody was so filled to the front that you could only feel the vibe of a packed house – just minus the shoving.
Verdict: Australians may have an acquired fashion sense, but their dancing is spectacularly bizarre and their live show is not to be missed. They’ll throw it down in all directions. Check out A Is For Alpine while you’re at it – it’s clever and smooth, and makes for solid listening whether it’s just for background noise or for your own hipster zumba throwdown.
2) The Vigour
3) Seeing Red
4) Too Safe
5) All For One
6) In The Wild
8) Lovers 1
9) Lovers 2