GIVERS Find Their Way

November 8th, 2010

GIVERS – Mercury Lounge – November 6, 2010

GIVERS opened their show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night with the waiting-to-be-licensed smash “Up Up Up,” a bouncy post-Zydeco anthem. It was an ebullient plea for takeoff in a world filled with so many tethers. In the second half of the chorus, the band settled into their unofficial, if grammatically incorrect, thesis statement, repeating over and over: “And we up! And we up!” It was a moment of supreme youthful energy from a supremely youthful and energetic group of kids from the American Gulf Coast. For the better, no matter what else happens, GIVERS will always have this moment, the second half of the chorus where everything lifts up and off, a moment that a million other bands would kill to have, a moment of exuberance fossilized for eternity.

For the next hour, GIVERS proceeded to explore time signature, rhythmic and stylistic territory from Paul Simon, reggae and these post-Vampire Weekend Afrobeat guitars. At times, they were reminiscent of an Americanized fully Creole version of Los Campesinos!, and at other times, they were uniquely their own, pushing toward territory that sits, either comfortably or uncomfortably, between the indie-rock and the jam-band set. For their part, GIVERS didn’t seem at all concerned, exploding from song to song with fast-twitch jumps to the ceiling and enormous smiles directed at one another.

The human battery onstage was the singularly talented and explosive multi-instrumentalist Tif Lamson. Alternating between a six-string ukulele and absolutely thrashing a stand-up drum kit, she proved as talented and unstoppable as she was likeably fresh faced. Sharing vocal duties with Taylor Guarisco, the two represented the face of a band that is in on the secret. After their second-to-last song of the night, Guarisco yelled, “That was stupid and awesome!” We weren’t sure which was which, or what the secret was, but we were pleasantly trapped inside it, frozen in youth for just a moment. —Geoff Nelson