Fans came together outside of Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom Saturday afternoon in anticipation of GROUPLOVE’s second of two sold-out shows in the Big Apple. The California-based band released their third studio album, Big Mess, earlier this year and recently embarked on a 10-week-long tour of the same name. Despite the chilly weather outside, the warmth and happiness was radiating from the crowd inside as they eagerly awaited the much anticipated GROUPLOVE to take the stage.
As the clock struck 9:30, the band’s bus driver approached the stage and began to speak about the band, who he has had the honor of driving for for over five years. “Without further ado, I present to you: GROUPLOVE!” he shouted in the microphone. The lights dimmed and a backdrop of blue lights began to flicker as the opening of “I’m With You” began. First, drummer Ryan Rabin climbed the stage and gracefully removed his shirt (a staple of all GROUPLOVE shows), then each member came out on after the other. Lead singers Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi jumped around the stage during the chorus, with smiles beaming from ear to ear. It was clear to see that this night would play out as a very special moment for the band and one of the best parties of their careers.
The band’s hefty setlist was filled with a diverse range of songs from albums both new and old, all timed perfectly in order to keep the party going all night long. The setlist included hits like “Itchin’ On A Photograph,” “Tongue Tied,” and “Shark Attack,” as well as a cover of “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys. GROUPLOVE was full of energy and it carried into the crowd, who were on their feet, jumping around with arms flailing, the entire night. Never before have I seen a crowd so vibrant and enthusiastic and it made for a fantastic show. The band never let the energy die, not event during the encore in which vocalist/guitarist Christian Zucconi grabbed the mic and ventured into the crowd, crowd-surfing his way across the venue while singing “Ways To Go.” GROUPLOVE ended their magical set with their hit “Colours” and truly left every fan in Hammerstein Ballroom wanting more.
After hearing about the hype surrounding GROUPLOVE and their live performances, I can confirm that the rumors are true: This band is high-energy and knows how to throw a serious party.