Both Grouplove's stage presence and backstory make their moniker seem all the more apt, and the former was incredibly present during Wednesday night's gig at Chicago's Lincoln Hall (as for the latter, the quintet met during an artist residency in Greece, how can there not be love between a group with such a beginning?). The night before their first of two Chicago gigs had been drummer Ryan Rabin's birthday (so we sang), frontman Christian Zucconi continuously voiced the band's adoration for Chicago, and resident lady Hannah Hooper was all smiles in her skeleton suit.
This week's return to Lincoln Hall marked a much more seasoned performance than the one the band gave back in January 2012 when they last took the Chicago club's stage. Not to say that that show, a little more than a year and a half ago, was lacking -- but this time around, it was apparent they've played these songs a time or two during their globe-trotting tour in support of their debut, 2011's Never Trust a Happy Song.
After introducing a track from that album, Hooper proclaimed, "I love saying that ... our last record," alluding to the fact that their sophomore effort, Spreading Rumours, was released just last month. While the tracks from the new record offered a fresh sound, it was the songs from their debut, "Spun," "Tongue Tied," and the encore's final number "Colours" ("The one that got it all started for this band," Zucconi said) that served as the biggest crowd pleasers.
Although the band sold out Chicago's Riviera Theater (with a capacity of 2,500+) the last time they came through the windy city, this time around they opted to return to the much smaller, 500+ capacity Lincoln Hall. The intimate gig sold out quickly, and fans spilled from the concert room into the bar, just hoping to get a glimpse. Those lucky enough to score a ticket were all smiles as they left the Wednesday-night gig filled with sing-alongs and dancing.