Dan Croll’s Floating Wave of Pop

April 18th, 2014

Dan Croll – The Bowery Ballroom – April 17, 2014

The sold-out crowd at The Bowery Ballroom last night bounced with excitement as Dan Croll and Panama Wedding dazzled us with one big wave of pop music. Panama Wedding, the dream-pop band that has synths down to a science, opened, proving that Peter Kirk’s meticulous arrangements sparkle in a live setting. They’ve been busy touring and perfecting their tropical pop music in the recording studio as they prepare to release their debut EP, which is due out later this year.

Croll sauntered onstage with his band as the intro to “Hello My Baby,” a brand new track, on which he collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, boomed from the PA. The Liverpudlian singer-songwriter and Co. easily slipped into a set filled with material from his debut album, Sweet Disarray. Croll’s voice and lyrics are simultaneously fervent and gentle. His self-effacing mannerisms and the band’s synchronicity brought the songs on Sweet Disarray to blissful fruition. “Compliment Your Soul,” “Home,” “Can You Hear Me” and Croll’s first single, “From Nowhere,” stood out as crowd favorites, as did a supremely mellow rendition of “Sweet Disarray” during the encore.

At one point, a group of concertgoers alerted the band that it was their friend’s birthday, so the group brought her onstage and got the audience to serenade her with “Happy Birthday.” Afterward—per the band’s advice—she crowd-surfed her way back into the audience. She might have been the only one up in the air last night, but we all felt like we were floating, thanks to Croll’s endearing eccentricities and multi-instrumental, tambourine-studded depth of sound. —Schuyler Rooth

(Dan Croll plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on 6/15.)

(Panama Wedding play Mercury Lounge on 6/5.)