Concert Review: Oberhofer at Beachland Tavern




Since jumpstarting its career with a string of singles throughout 2010 and 2011, indie quintet Oberhofer has kept surprisingly low-key despite some of its notable accomplishments. The members have both shared a stage with neo-psychedelic demigods Flaming Lips and played for a (presumably) older audience on The Late Show with David Letterman — all before dropping a sophomore album for Glassnote Records. Considering the elevated platform this band has experienced, it came as a surprise that last night's show at the Beachland Tavern was sold out almost exclusively to the youngest members of Generation Y, who were all quick to document via Instagram photo or Vine of band mastermind Brad Oberhofer’s relentless dance moves.

The muggy weather didn’t make for particularly comfortable conditions at the front of the densely packed Tavern stage — even the band members, with ample space to move around, couldn’t help but take note of it in between songs. Even so, Brad Oberhofer couldn’t help but get a little sweaty in using this aforementioned stage space to its full capacity to get down throughout their hour-long, 14 song set of über-dancable indie pop. Fans mimicked the leading man as the band blazed through the up-and-down, surfy sounds of “Haus” and “Landlines,” but many of the women in attendance were all business in absorbing every detail of every minute that they had in the presence of Oberhofer — the man. If the level of swooning from last night's audience is any indication of what they experience from city to city, it would be hard for any leading man not to stay distracted. But for his — and the rest of the band’s — part, the sights seemed to be set on making for an excellent Sunday night show, and they certainly delivered. By “forgetting” to include its biggest hit, “Away Frm U,” in the main act, the band set itself up for an encore. Ending with a passionate rendition of “Gold,” Brad Oberhofer gave his adoring fans what they really wanted as he let them carry him off and away from the stage.

The show’s openers were locally sourced, each delving into different flavors of a similar sound to the headliner that proved a great supplement to its main set. The night’s first band, Alert New London, earned their gig after letting Oberhofer crash at keyboardist Gavin McKenzie’s pad in Columbus after one of the band’s past shows. The altruistic act appeared to pay off, and the band took full advantage of the sold out crowd to show off their chops on original songs like “Rubber Tongue” and “A Pulse of Youth,” before putting on a stellar cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s classic “Maps” toward the end of the set. Had Cleveland Heights natives Meridian been off their game, their folksy brand of rock — which sharply contrasted the sound of the bands that both preceded and followed it — may have made for a weird middle set. Instead, they kept the crowd enthused throughout their unique, 9-song performance, and were particularly on-point in songs like “Commuters” and opener “When I See You.”

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