The Apples in Stereo have been around since the early '90s. It's one of the founding bands of the Elephant 6 Collective (others include Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel). A testament to their sustainability and appeal: Last night, it drew a crowd that spanned from those who came of age in the '90s to those who were born in the '90s.
As the joke went last night, however, the band was from a slightly different time. "We've come from the future," quipped Apples in Stereo front man Robert Schneider. "When are we? 2010, once again. Did everyone arrive okay?"
The band played an outstanding set to an enthusiastic crowd at the Billiken Club, that odd little cafeteria/venue that treats our fair city to free shows regularly -- and really, really good ones on occasion. This was one of those really good shows.
After a somewhat tedious soundcheck, Generationals took the stage. It was the last night of the tour, and it showed; the band looked strung out, exhausted, and maybe a little depressed, although gratified all the same. Still, the New Orleans band delivered a solid, super-fun set nonetheless.
If the Apples are from the future, Generationals are purely of the here and now. It has a firm grip on the sunshine pop of the past, but this genre is funneled through familiar late-'00s indie rock conceits. The music's almost lo-fi (but not really) and features electro vamping and genre-bending influences. In short, the band has a talent for making bubblegummy pop that doesn't suck.
They opened the set with "Exterior Street Day," followed by the rousing clap-a-long "Nobody Could Change Your Mind." Schneider snuck into the crowd in the middle of Generationals set, much to the delight of a few Apples diehards near the stage. He then joined the band on stage and assisted on the tambourine during the highly danceable "When They Fight, They Fight." He said "I love that song!" before leaving the Generationals to finish their set. "If anyone has video of that, send it along," Generationals' Widmer said.
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