The incredibly soggy Rumsey Playfield was packed on Friday night for one of the last SummerStage concerts of the season, featuring the Irish indie-rock group Two Door Cinema Club.
For some reason, Two Door Cinema Club is not a band I had equated with a diehard following of fans, but semi-surprisingly, chants of “Two Door, Two Door” began almost immediately after the opener, Friends, had finished its set. Limbs began stretching out over the guard rails, waving for attention as a swarm of screeches from endless rows of girls ambushed the trio the instant the players hopped on stage. Rocking a slicked-back, ’50s rendition of his signature ginger locks, singer Alex Trimble wasted no time grabbing his gorgeous green Gretsch, as the distinct drum line for the band’s newest single, “Sleep Alone,” got the crowd even more amped up.
Over the span of a little more than an hour, Two Door was able to get through almost its entire song catalog, making it possible to cover all the fan favorites like “Undercover Martyn,” “Handshake” and “I Can Talk.” The band was on point, lacking no confidence on stage in front of the massive and enthusiastic crowd. The threesome pumped out a solid all-around performance; there were no jaw-dropping, tears-of-joy moments, but their type of music doesn’t really lend itself to that. For what they do, they did it really well. In fact, I would even venture to say that the tracks from Two Door’s new album, Beacon, translated better live than they do on the album. After the first listen, there was nothing extraordinary about the majority of the new album, but this show altered that opinion. Clearly, for optimum appreciation, their songs are meant to be listened to out loud in an area where you can dance—earbuds just don’t do them justice.
The sound quality far away from the stage wasn’t ideal, which is often a problem with outdoor venues, so the first of only two distinguishable sentences of conversation didn’t come until right before the encore. “We want to see you lose your fucking shit,” yelled bassist Kevin Baird, who had been relatively quiet until that point. The crowd members obeyed as they lost their shit for the infectious, guitar-driven “Someday,” a prime example of a forgettable album track that made a huge impact live.
Trimble left his fans with a short speech before the last song—he was clearly overwhelmed by the uproarious reaction of the audience. “I’m still surprised we can play in front of so many people so far from home,” he said. “I really just don’t know what to say.” So he stopped talking and finished off the night with “What You Know,” which is what he knew we had all come to hear.