February 21, 2017
The Fleece- Bristol, England
American indie rock band Pinegrove hailing from Montclair, New Jersey left the states to start their European tour and their first stop was in Bristol. Pinegrove have an ever expanding global following, which has increased rapidly in recent years with their signing to Run For Cover Records and the release of their debut album through the label, Cardinal which came out last year.
This was a highly anticipated show since the venue had to be upgraded due to overwhelming demand and it was clear, as Pinegrove’s album Cardinal was being voted ‘#1 Album Of The Year 2016’ by ‘Bristol Live Magazine’.
Opening the night was Hannah Read of Lomelda performing solo, hailing from Silsbee, Texas. She played a stripped backset performing songs from the band’s debut album 4E & included tracks such as Spiritual Health and Brazos River. Though her set was short, her performance was captivating, she was beautifully lit under the lights, not a word was said during her playing, but as each song came to an end it was met with cheers, claps and smiles.
Pinegrove were up next on this night forming as a four piece as Nandi Plunkett was back in the States doing press coverage for her new EP Casine, for her new project Half Waif. Other members were also unavailable due to availability and traveling. Right from when the first chord was struck when the band opened with Visiting, you could see and feel the passion which the band had and this was complimented by the crowd meeting them with that same heartfeltness. This was a running theme throughout the show. The band played a mixture of songs from their first three releases, Meridian, & and Mixtape Two with tracks including Problems and The Metronome, one of the first songs written by the band. Song from their latest release Cardinal, included Size Of The Moon and Waveform.
What really comes across in the band’s playing as well as their interaction with the crowd is their genuine humbleness, creativity, passion and humor. In particular it is seen in frontman Evan Stephen’s as he combined light hearted humour with the crowd, as well as showed the bands ethos and seriousness in the music. As he opened up to the crowd, saying that some their songs were about his past failures of love, he uses them for something he can learn from and love better in the future. He encouraged the people singing the songs for them to also love better.
Other notable mentions were the upbeat track Then Again and the crowd singing every word as well as one of my personal favorites Angelina. The encore consisted of Evan Stephen’s playing some acoustic tracks which included Toast which he said that he had written in two hours, which gives for another example of the band’s light heartedness. Pinegrove ended on a high with the band reforming to play the crowd favorite New Friends. Additionally a nice touch from the band is that stayed after the set to meet and speak to fans.
What made this gig so memorable was the appreciation and love shown from Pinegrove and the crowd to one another. Here is a band that has a message of loving yourself as well as others and here was a crowd who understands and does that. If you’re debating about going to see Pinegrove it’s a definite yes.
Review by: Anthony Shaw