Tennis at Riviera Theatre, 4/7/23

It had been well over a decade since the last time I saw Tennis perform live. It was a Lollapalooza aftershow where they were opening for The Vaccines. I missed. a good chunk of their set trying to get in, but once I did hear them playing, I was very impressed. That was at a smaller venue, the correct size for a band that was still at the beginning of their career-flash forward a dozen years and they’re headlining the gigantic Riviera Theatre.

Their music has always defied genre in my mind-it’s definitely pop, but it falls in a weird bedroom disco category. I’m not always in the mood for it, honestly, but when it’s good it hits just right. The sound at Riviera had been giving opener Kate Bollinger some issues early on, so I was happy to hear everything coming through crystal clear for Tennis. After taking pics up in the front, I moved to the back and just had to get my boogie on.

Alaina and Patrick, newly appointed ambassadors of Colorado tourism, did the Centennial State proud with a performance that had everyone in mile-high spirits. While the setlist hasn’t changed much, if at all, throughout the tour, every song still felt fresh and exciting like it was the first time they were playing it. The vibe was much closer to an intimate club than a thousand-plus auditorium.

The tour is in support of their latest album, Pollen. Many songs from the album made it into the set, of course, and they all sounded great live. My favorite was probably “Hotel Valet,” which falls right around the middle of the record and fell similarly in the middle of the show. The bass line had my feet tapping so hard I almost wore a hole in my shoe.