Monday, November 5, 2007

Disco pop begs for dance moves

Tigercity took the stage at the Empty Bottle last Tuesday night, October 30, with casual poise. The foursome occupy comfortably defined roles onstage: Joel Ford as charismatic longhaired bass player, Andrew Brady as intent, mopheaded guitarist, Bill Gillim as quirky, silver-voiced lead singer and Aynsley Powell as unflappable drummer, visible only as a blur of blonde hair behind the drumset. Add to this dynamic an equally well-defined and fun-loving disco-pop sound, and you have Tigercity: an enjoyably streamlined band with a catchy, well-crafted sound perfect for hitting the dance floor.

Unfortunately, no one was doing any dancing to speak of on Tuesday night, even after the band beckoned audience members to move closer to the stage. As the night continued, however, even a group as stubbornly reserved as this weekday crowd couldn’t quite fight the dance beats, and some grooving broke out on the sidelines. Those of us stolid enough to sit down or stand in one place ultimately couldn’t resist a little toe-tapping or shoulder shrugging as the beats and synth-sounds bounced from the stage.

After a smooth start with “So Many Faces,” the band moved forward with the infectious “Dark Water,” Gillim’s voice carrying the tune effortlessly as he ever-so-slightly strutted around the stage. The band continued with “Other Girls” and “Red Lips,” delivering an ever-buoyant wave of sparkling dance pop that relentlessly lightened the mood inside Empty Bottle’s ironically dingy interior. Tigercity rounded out the set on a high note with “Are You Sensation,” one of the best tracks on their new EP, Pretend Not to Love.

It’s true that given a disco ball, a larger crowd and more drunken merriment, Tigercity’s tunes might possibly have been the best music the crowd had ever heard, but even under Tuesday night’s somewhat adverse circumstances, the show was tantalizingly dynamic -- piquing my interest as to what Tigercity could accomplish given the right circumstances. - Cory Robertson

Photo by Dorothy Hong.