If ever you find yourself packed into a nearly 100-year-old building with 2,500 of your closest friends while stage lights with an attention disorder swirl to the sounds of DaRude’s “Sandstorm” on a Tuesday evening, you might be at a Darude show for some reason, or you’re jumping on the bullet-train that is a Two Door Cinema Club show. After an enthusiastic set from lady-fronted Brooklyn pop outfit Friends, the Irish trio and their touring drummer took the stage around 8:30 p.m. and proceeded to rip through a 17-song setlist, equal parts Tourist History and Beacon, in a quick-and-dirty 70 minutes. Darude didn’t have a thing on this.
The most energetic track from their latest effort, “Sleep Alone” (which is sort of like saying, “There’s the most hyper kid” at a Chuck-E-Cheese) decreed a turbocharged mood for the floor as lights flashed and the eclectic crowd danced. A tall fellow clad in a backwards Sox cap could have been the poster child for the show as a master of the one-arm-in-the-air hop that’s quite difficult to resist when a relentless rush of frantic indie-pop is being thrust upon you on a dreary Tuesday night.
“Thank you Chicago. How’s it going? We’re Two Door Cinema Club, and it’s lovely to be here,” Conan-haired frontman Alex Trimble said with a smirk. It was one of many bouts of gratitude he gave the Riv, but the group kept the crowd interaction to a minimum. Given the visible amount of fun they were having (guitarist Sam Halliday and bassist Kevin Baird refused to stop smiling and grooving), a lack of chitchat wasn’t a problem as they kept the focus on their catalog of high-pitched-guitar-driven indie-pop tunes. When several attendees darted from the floor for drinks as “Do You Want It All?” began, a bit of a lull seemed to have approached as Trimble briefly sat to dabble with some synths. But TDCC took dynamite to the moment, exploding even their lower-energy songs into lose-your-shit dance-athons, eliciting excited arms from the floor and balcony alike while proving thou shalt not stand still at a Two Door Cinema Club show.
A glowing trapezoid and luminosity that prompted the dude next to me to say “That’s a lot of light” to his friend not once, but twice, dictated the feel of each song, with a warm beam of yellow engulfing Trimble during “Sun” (sans horns, sadly), the catchiest number from the band’s solid sophomore release. The group was on point for fan favorites “This Is the Life” and “Something Good Can Work”, further proving that catapulting your studio songs into this-one-goes-to-11 exuberance without changing a whole lot is an A-OK way to bring your tracks to life.
When the band returned for the encore, Trimble looked like he belonged on the Ferris Bueller poster, arms casually folded atop his head, before launching into Beacon’s “Someday” and Tourist History’s “Come Back Home” and “What You Know”. Even the too-cool-for-dancing head-nodders on the outskirts of the floor got to hopping as Trimble howled, “I can tell just what you want/ You don’t want to be alone.”
After a night of filled-to-the-brim fun imported from Ireland, spirits sailed as Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” prompted the exodus from the Riv into the rain to turn into what felt like a recreation of that scene from 500 Days of Summer. Yet another enthusiastic “thanks” from Trimble and a snapped photo of the audience from the drummer preceded our impromptu movie moment, proving that this is all still quite exciting for Two Door Cinema Club, and perhaps we are making their dreams.
Photography by Jeremy D. Larson.
Do You Want It All?
This Is The Life
You’re Not Stubborn
I Can Talk
Something Good Can Work
Eat That Up, It’s Good For You
Come Back Home
What You Know