The Sounds party like it’s 2006 at the Fillmore

The Sounds, Maja Ivarsson

Photos: Alessio Neri

SAN FRANCISCO —Right before Swedish indie rock band took the stage The Sounds, a beautiful ballad played through the PA memorized the crowd. As they walked onto stage, all of a sudden, The Fillmore was swallowed by a thunder of screams and cheering that would not dissipate for the rest of the night.

The Sounds were in San Francisco to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their sophomore album, Dying to Say this to You. The band was forced to pick up the energy of the crowd following two unsuccessful attempts by the opening bands. Once on stage, lead singer Maja Ivarsson grabbed control and never let go.

They kicked off their third-to-last show with “Song with a Mission” with Ivarsson using every page from the classic rock moves list, including microphone throws, sing-alongs and air guitar solos. Occasionally, Ivarsson would flash her upper leg, creating a frenzy of whistles and catcalls from both men and woman. After 19 years together, it’s clear The Sounds still all enjoy this. 

Dying to Say this to You was played in its entirety during the first half of the show. After “Night After Night,” the three male members of the band performed a drum solo that served as intermission. The crowd hungrily lapped up every track off off the album, which was recorded in Berkeley. Following the first set, a backdrop featuring the album’s cover fell, revealing another for the band’s 2002 album, Living in America. The Sounds began the second half of the show with 2016 single “Thrill.” 

The remainder featured a handful of songs from their earlier albums. Following 90 minutes of winding up the crowd, the performance peaked during the encore with a five-minute outro that featured Ivarsson joining the crowd to sing “Hope You’re Happy Now.”

Austin, Texas natives My Jerusalem began the show with bassist Kyle Robarge stumbling onto the stage and spilling some of his beer. They introduced themselves with a hard bass kick that startled some. The six heavy garage rock songs they played offered a variety of tempos. Halfway through their set, one of the members from Zipper Club brought out shots for everyone, which is where My Jerusalem admitted their trying to be as drunk as possible for their upcoming 10-hour drive to Portland.

During “Dominos,” vocalist Jeff Klein stormed the half-filled floor to sing with the crowd. Guitarist Jon Merz threw what looked to be plates at the crowd and knocked over his equipment. Despite this over-the-top conclusion, the crowd offered nothing above slight nods that appeared to be done more out of habit than entertainment.

The highlight of Los Angeles rock trio Zipper Club’s set was an impressive laser show. The band did, however, stop the show to give a shout-out to a fan attending her fifth show of the tour. Their biggest problem included muffled vocals that were drowned out by the sonics of the instrument-playing musicians.

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