There aren’t a whole lot of elements to a Givers show—no army of lubricated backup dancers, no fountain of blood, no collapsible stage with which to swallow audience members—just four of the most adorable, most ebullient people… ever. So while the Bowery Ballroom wasn’t uncomfortably crammed with bodies reaching to tear apart the lead guitarist’s shirt at the band’s show, the members’ sheer joy and amazement filled every nook and cranny.
Sometimes, such diehard cuteness can be annoying, or even disgusting, but with Givers it seems totally understandable and infectious. The group’s vocalist/guitarist Taylor Guarisco plays with his tongue out like a little puppy, for God’s sake. And vocalist/drum-banger Tiffany Lamson, who introduced Guarisco as her “best friend in the whole wide world” (or something), has that kind of all-American nonthreatening prettiness that suggests she was probably friends with everyone in high school. She probably sat with the losers and the nerds and the mathletes every once in a while and was kind of oblivious to their gigantic crushes on her.
All of this should be enough to make any committed Daria fan roll their eyes and threaten to vomit a little, but Givers is adorable. That’s what Givers is all about. That’s Givers’ M.O. We have the Kills to act like moody assholes on stage, so there is nothing wrong with occasionally enjoying the company of a young and even hippie-ish crowd while two BFFs do that thing where you play music and put your foreheads together and grimace in each others’ faces because you’re playing in New York City and not still sitting in a car in a McDonald’s parking lot in Louisiana.
The truth is, without its overwhelming cuteness, Givers would just be Vampire Weekend with a little blondie hitting some drums and singing. But because of the members’ almost unbearable charm, it only makes sense that during a lull between songs a fan would shout, “You guys are better than Vampire Weekend!” And it only makes sense to agree.