Posted January 22, 2015 by Allison Keeney in Show Reviews

Tennis // 1-16-15 // Wonder Ballroom

20150116Tennis6Tennis erupted on stage in high spirits ready to play for an enthusiastic, hipster-heavy crowd at the Wonder Ballroom last Friday evening.

The indie pop-rock, Denver-based husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley were joined on stage by drummer James Barone, a touring bassist, and a second female keyboardist named Tiffany, who Moore told the crowd was her college roommate and making only her second show debut that night.

The band began their set with “Solar on the Rise” and “Needle and a Knife,” off their latest album Ritual in Repeat, released in September of last year with help from a trio of well-known producers: Spoon’s Jim Eno, Patrick Carney from the Black Keys, and Richard Swift of The Shins.

Tennis’ retro-modern twist on the sounds and styles of the 50s and 60s gives them a distinctive sound that’s thoughtful, tender and very catchy. Moore’s unique, emotional vocals are complemented with her keyboard playing, diverse arrays of guitar riffs from Riley and blended beats from Barone.

The couple met in a college philosophy class, fell in love, bought a boat, and then took off on a seven-month sailing expedition down the Eastern Seaboard.  This voyage inspired their first studio album from 2011, Cape Dory. From this album, the band played “South Carolina” and “Marathon,” which Moore said was one of the very first songs they ever wrote.

Throughout the set Moore grooved side to side behind her keys while whipping her beautiful blonde curls. Riley, who also has beautiful blonde shoulder-length hair, and the rest of the band were clearly enjoying themselves as well with frequent smiles and interlocking jams.

The band played two of their more well-known songs, “Origins” and “My Better Self” off their 2012 second album, Young & Old, produced by Carney of the Black Keys. Also sprinkled in their set were a few songs from their 2013 EP Small Sound.

Towards the end of their set they played their latest single “I’m Callin,” an easy, breezy mix of classic rock and radio pop blending to create an effortlessly catchy song. Watch the music video below:

To finish the night, Moore and Riley came back onstage unaccompanied for the encore and performed “Bad Girls,” off their new album, with Moore saying, “We’re playing this song the way it was written, not the way it was recorded on the album.” In interviews Moore has stated that she wrote this song about herself with the key lyrics being, “Even bad girls can do good things.” Out of the entire set, Moore’s vocals on this song demanded the entire audience’s attention with chill-inducing rawness and beauty.

Allison Keeney


One Comment

    Amanda Russell

    This was my first Tennis concert and I quickly became a fan after the first few songs! The great writing in the article definitely brought me back to the show!

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