Of the three bands I saw last night at Metro, The Griswolds were the ones with which I was most familiar. I don’t know all their stuff, but I know enough that I could enjoy myself beyond taking photos. The crowd-heavy version of “Be Impressive” was great to hear. “Right On Track” and “Beware The Dog” seemed to be fan favorites of the night. They also played a brand new song that involved some crowd participation that went over really well-one of my favorites for sure.
First time seeing them live, and I have an observation that may rub some of their fans the wrong way (though I mean nothing against the band, whom I quite enjoyed): They remind me a bit of what people thought Maroon 5 was going to be when they first started out. In 2003-4, Maroon 5 was a cool, funky little band with a couple songs that appealed to a wide audience. In those days Adam Levine and co. were taken somewhat seriously as musicians and their future was endless. The Griswolds make me think of M5, and the decision they must have made to go commercial and try to sell out arenas with formulaic pop. I don’t think The Griswolds will make the same mistake-unless they’re interested in becoming super rich.
Chris Whitehall did a great job of keeping things interesting on stage. As a photographer and a music lover, I appreciate a good frontman, and he was fantastic. Rest of the band did their best to keep up with him, successfully for the most part. Whitehall made a short trip out into the audience that I thought could have been a real turning point for the show, giving it more of a punk feel. Alas, he just went and hung out for a second and then came back. Oh well, it was a lot of fun anyway.