On Thursday, Tanlines, a New York duo whose 2012 debut Mixed Emotions garnered attention from music junkies across the web, took to the carpet with local band Hunter of the Alps- and things got sweaty. Hunters of the Alps played a set likened to listeners of The XX, Tanlines (go figure!) or maybe even a mellowed out Twin Shadow. Also a duo, they followed a familiar structure of lead guitar/synth, and vocalist/tap drum pad. The audience seemed to enjoy what they heard given the level of applause following each song, but didn’t really go wild during their set. A reason, I feel, is because an audience often mimics their sole point of reference at a show- the band on stage (or in this case, carpet). So since the two didn’t dance crazily or jump around, neither did the crowd.
At around 12:30am (to the dismay of those who’d arrived at 9pm), Tanlines finally took the floor, and the place was packed. They then dove into a set full of sound and dimension, a set with far more musical depth than seems possible from merely two band members. They started off with “Rain Delay”, a slower song that acted smartly as an intro for “Saw”, a synthy track that gradually adds layer upon layer of danceable beats and haunting vocals, to which the tightly packed audience immediately began to dance and sway.
From then on out Tanlines’ alternative and at times tropical dance flow took over Bardot and made every cigarette puffing and drink buying 20-something year old groove along to their subtly 80’s style. With drummer/vocalist Jesse Cohen often taking a break to talk to the audience and comment on Miami, it was a very friendly and personal show. He later vocalized just why so many music lovers love to see bands at Bardot, “I can honestly say this is the first time I can see the audience’s faces and see what you’re all doing” Jesse said with a grin, adding “I almost feel like I’m at an open mic, I feel so free”.
It is that exact feeling of freedom and intimacy that makes seeing bands at Bardot such a unique and treasurable experience. The concert had a very personal and informal vibe which gave it the atmosphere of being at a friends party and having a good time WITH the band, rather than being a distant audience behind a barricade. Accepting drinks from front rowers when in need, Tanlines made themselves comfortable and made it easy to cut loose and dance the night away like they did. Earlier I mentioned how an audience often mirrors a band’s behavior, in this instance it worked out well.
With crowd favorites like “Real Life”, “All of Me” and “Not the Same” they kept the audience singing and dancing despite how hot and sweaty it got- and they even managed to squeeze in a new song. Closing their set around 1:45am, Tanlines put on a show suitable for a summer in Miami. Leaving the smoky, crowded venue, it almost felt as if we’d become friends with the band- a feeling that can only come from the success of a venue like Bardot, and a bands willingness to connect.
“Cactus” (new song)
“Not the Same”
“All of Me”