It was shoulder-to-shoulder at the Grog Shop last night for Caribou’s show. Daniel Snaith’s four-piece wasted no time, attacking the audience with two sets of acoustic drums blazing over layers of synthesized sounds and steady pulsing bass.
“Leave House” — from the band's latest album, Swim — got heads nodding with its backbeat-driven, up-tempo groove. “Odessa” enlivened the crammed house with twisted synth-tuba effects pumping under ethereal vocals and a steady bass/snare/bass/snare.
Throughout the set, brassy synthesizers ebbed and swelled, while Snaith’s hypnotizing vocals cooed. Kaleidoscopic colors and rapid strobe bursts enveloped the tightly packed band as the crowd throbbed along the rim of the stage.
Caribou mellowed temporarily mid-show with songs like “Bowls,” which were plucky, calculated, and swooning. These quieter, unpretentious pieces lulled with minimalist clicks and subtle, pulsing melodies, only to suddenly erupt into grand cascades of thick, electric sound.
The set culminated with the exploding “Sun,” driven by charging drums and pulsating effects as Snaith chanted the title over and over to his raving fans.
Openers Toro Y Moi were a perfect complement to Caribou. Using much the same on-stage setup as the headliners, the trio mixed perpetually echoing, effects-laden vocals and keys overtop solid four-on-the-floor drumming and subtly funky bass licks. Their music was familiar enough to groove to, but left plenty of room within the spacey effects to let the mind drift — a very outdoor summer party feel. —Adam Burroughs