If you listened to alternative rock radio back in 2006 or 2007, you probably know Silversun Pickups. The L.A. band is perhaps most known for being a “must play” during every hour on every playlist, and through that constant rotation they acquired a sizable following that probably mostly knows them for hits like “Lazy Eye” and “Well Thought Out Twinkles.” Many of these casual fans flooded to Terminal 5 this past Sunday night for the Silversun Pickups’ sold out show with Cloud Nothings and Atlas Genius.
Australia’s budding pop-rock outfit Atlas Genius opened the show, playing a set consisting mainly of tracks off their Through The Glass EP. The group’s short set ended with the catchy “Trojans,” and while the ending of the song left the audience speechless, the band decided to ruin their moment for cool points with a cliché, performing a synchronized jumping-guitar-strum finish.
Contrasting with Atlas Genius’ blazers and perfectly disheveled haircuts, was the lo-fi pop outfit Cloud Nothings. Clad in faded sweatshirts and flannel shirts, lead singer Dylan Baldi cheekily announced to the crowd, “We’re a rock band from Cleveland, OH called Cloud Nothings,” beginning the set with “Fall In.” Throwing themselves around on stage with stomps and greasy, long-haired head banging, midway through their set, the band performed the crowd pleaser “Stay Useless,” transforming several audience members in the crowd into dancing rag dolls with limbs flailing all over to the song’s heavy melody. Between their active stage presence and body-blasting sounds from the amps, Cloud Nothings took the unofficial “Most Energetic Band of the Night” award. Closing the set, the band performed the garage-burner “No Future/No Past,” Baldi screaming his heart out to ensure everyone in the audience, all the way up on Terminal 5’s third floor, heard the song’s anguished lyrics.
With a stage saturated in blue lighting, cheers and whistles emitted from the crowd, telltale signs of the anxious fans biting their nails for Silversun Pickups to begin its set. As soon as the black silhouettes of the band members emerged from backstage, a sea of cellphone lights rose to capture the visual spectacle of the band opening their set, starting with “Skin Graph” off their new record Neck Of The Woods. Vocalist Brain Aubert growled to the audience, “Your skin is alive and it moves me.”
While Silversun’s music pleased the crowd, it was Aubert’s conversation with the audience that gave the show an extra push. He joked with the audience about the story of Sarah Negahdari filling in for bassist Nikki Monninger, who happened “to have gotten fat fast” and is taking maternity leave for the tour. Later during the show, Aubert demonstrated his and the band’s humble attitude, explaining that the “unbelievable sensation” they felt playing at Terminal 5 for the night was like “being on top of the world.”
After closing the original set with the radio famous “Lazy Eye,” many fans called it a night, doubting the possibility of an encore, or even an enjoyable one, with the “best” song already played. Fortunately, Silversun Pickups managed to prove the fair-weather fans wrong. Opening the encore with “Busy Bees,” the band reenergized the crowd with song’s slow build-up, leading to its heavy instrumental breakdown. Following with “Out Of Breath,” the band transitioned to its last song of the night, the heavy “Well Thought Out Twinkles.” While it was no “Lazy Eye,” as many had expected to be the band’s closing song, Silversun Pickups blasted the audience with the raw distortion and deafening noise.