Photo by Kent Miller

Usually when I am experiencing a band for the first time in concert, Terminal 5 isn’t the venue on the top of my list. It’s hard to get to, way too big and usually pretty crowded. The biggest annoyance is the size; some groups that play there just don’t translate well to the cavernous midtown venue. Needless to say I was a little skeptical about seeing Louisiana’s Giversthere when I showed up last night. The skepticism was immediately wiped from my brain once this energetic group hit the stage.

Although most of the crowd was there to see Portugal. The Man, they were completely entranced and dancing like fools by the first note of the Givers performance. Terminal 5 was literally changed into one big Mardi Gras party for that 40-minute set. Although there isn’t much traditional Mardi Gras in the band’s music style, its blend of Afro pop and indie dance rock still evoked the energy of the festivities. It must be in that Louisiana water.

Givers’ performance was a buoyant, uplifting mix of percussion-heavy, full-band harmony jam sessions that were absolutely astounding. The sound was big and intricately crafted. The most fun to watch was percussionist and vocalist Tiffany Lamson, who played some of the most astounding drumbeats while also singing.

The stand-out songs of the night were definitely “Noche Nada” and the group’s insanely catchy single “Up Up Up,” which finished off the set with a bang. There wasn’t a weak song in the batch, and Givers kept the performance upbeat and 100 percent good times. It was definitely refreshing to see a band having as good a time onstage as I was listening to them. If there is any band that is a must-see this CMJ, it is most definitely Givers. You will not be disappointed.

All photos by Kent Miller.