Shout Out Louds Dazzle a Bigger Room

May 13th, 2013

Shout Out Louds – Webster Hall – May 10, 2013

It seems like it would be tough to quickly one-up a sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg that happened just days after releasing a new album (Optica), but Shout Out Louds found a way to do just that with their massive show at Webster Hall on Friday night. The Swedish pop-rock band performed with humble grins as they played songs primarily from their last two albums, and they—or specifically, lead singer Adam Olenius—seemed overwhelmed by the crowd’s familiarity with the new material. The two floors of fans cheered from the moment Shout Out Louds opened with Optica’s first track, “Sugar,” and they didn’t settle down until after the band had finished, more than an hour and a half later.

The five-piece’s live show isn’t necessarily remarkable in any outrageous way, but that also means they shy away from leaning on gimmicks and distractions. But since the band’s songwriting is so strong (see: “14th of July” or “Fall Hard”) and their performance is so earnest, they still know how to wow a crowd. Surrounded by a constant fog, which, lit by towering light posts around the stage, glowed ice blue and wood-fire orange, the band split time between recreating more lively versions of those recorded tracks and engaging the Webster Hall audience. Olenius even told a story about the group’s first New York City show, at which there were fewer people than there were buckets on the floor catching rainwater leaking through the dingy venue’s ceiling. Not long after his tale, Olenius had to struggle to make his way to the middle of the venue before sitting down in the crowd during the end of show-capper “Tonight I Have to Leave It.” Oh, how far they’ve come. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane |