Givers @ Bowery Ballroom 6/16/2011

I want your ssssooooouuullll!!! (from

After my adventure over at Pianos, we made the trip over to Bowery just in time to see Givers take the stage.  The Louisiana group did a solid job playing just about the whole of In Light, their debut album which was released earlier this month.  They had an enjoyable stage presence and overall put on a good show, but there were some things of note.

1) Guitarist and singer Taylor Guarisco does a pretty terrifying exorcist impression every time he sings something.  It’s off-putting to say the least, and I’d much rather see a goofy guitar face than think I’m in a horror movie.  Not the worst thing in the world, but I felt I should say something.

2) The hometown audience the band brought along was irritating at times.  It’s nothing against the band, obviously, but this really bothered me.  It reminded me of when I saw my friend’s a capella group and the audience ruined every song they sang by catcalling them during it.  The same happened with Givers, the climax of which was me telling the band’s self-claimed ‘best friends’ to shut up–because they simply couldn’t–while their ‘friends’ were playing their biggest show yet.  Then a dude from their group tried to draw a rainbow on my face.  This was after they had pushed us out of our spot earlier in the night.  Oy vey…

3) Their live show sounds better than the album.  I can’t say I’m a huge fan of In Light.  After the brilliance of their EP, it seems they wanted to escape some of the Vampire Weekend comparisons and ditched a degree of brightness on it, resulting in slower tempos and a distinct lack of their original joy.  Luckily, that same joy is over abundant in their live show, and they truly look like they enjoy playing every note of every song.  Not every band is this passionate, and I feel it’s a not only large part of what makes them so endearing , but the reason they’ve gotten so much press.

So there you go.  I think Givers are going to be around for a while, but hopefully they don’t stick to writing the same song every time.  My last observation was that their songs seriously blended together after a while.  The same could be said for the dreaded Vampire Weekend’s first LP, but look what they did on their second.  Givers would by wise to follow that lead, and diversify a bit more.  Or maybe I’m being too picky, as their current schtick is very good.  Either way, here’s a song from their EP, instead of the album it was redone on…

Givers – Ceiling of Plankton


One response to “Givers @ Bowery Ballroom 6/16/2011

  1. Not sure what you’re talking about with respect to the album and tempos.
    Regardless, it’s not a reaction to the EP, because aside from Atlantic (and possibly Noche/Words), all of these were played around the time the EP came out or earlier. There’s video of Go Out from april of ’09, and it’s probably the slowest track there. FWIW, almost all of this album was in the can over a year ago, before they signed with a label.

    Regardless, I agree that talking during songs sucks…singing during songs, however is good 😀

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