Posted by: patriciamar | November 26, 2017

Tennis the Band at The Fillmore and soon, at Harlow’s

This weekend I got to see Tennis the band play at The Fillmore in San Francisco.  The venue is great, and I will definitely be looking for more shows there in the future.  The upstairs Poster Room is cool, and of course they sent me home with a Tennis poster.

The show was opened by The Wild Ones (Portland, OR), who were great! The lead singer had a cute haircut that was made for her style of dancing, and she was truly stoked to be playing at The Fillmore (The Fillmore being a legendary San Francisco venue–more on this later). I also loved how she wore a hood for the last few songs. It made me smile.  

Tennis (the band) (I feel like I have to say this every time: Tennis, the band) is led by a couple (Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley), vocals and guitar. The chemistry on stage was possibly the most interesting part of the show, though Alaina’s hair was a close second.  People loved when she danced and her hair moved.  It seriously had its own cheering section!  It is a pretty impressive head of curls.   

I am not sure why so many people were thrilled to see the bobbing curls, and likewise, I’m not sure why it was so intriguing to watch a real couple on the stage together. It’s not like a band has never before produced a leading couple.  It could have been the fact that they had been together for more than a decade, or that the girl behind me knew them growing up and talked about how close they were as a couple. Her example was that they shared a cellphone (We did this when we had no money as well). Perhaps all the terrible things that you hear on the news about men and sexual harassment have made me think about relationships in a deeper way. Perhaps her hair was curly and his was straight and I was watching opposites attract in person.  I don’t know.

The chemistry that they had on the stage wasn’t hot.  It was… supportive.  It was endearing.  I liked the music more for it.

At the beginning of the show, Alaina seemed a little standoffish to me.  She said nothing the first three songs, I think.  It was really surprising, since usually there’s something from the lead singer after the first song or at least the second.  

When she finally spoke, she gushed.  She was so thrilled that they were playing for a sold-out show (!) at The Fillmore in San Francisco that she didn’t have the words to speak.  My initial thoughts about her attitude were swept away.

Later in the show they played, “My Emotions are Blinding,” and explained that it was a song that she wrote to her emotions, after suffering from anxiety and panic attacks for a long time. Everything was making sense now. I can’t imagine being on stage singing in front of any number of people, and the anxiety that I’ve suffered in the past was little more than a reaction to an ACL tear and a slightly above average amount of claustrophobia.  I can’t imagine what it is like for her.  

I love music in a very real way.  The idea that a song can make me break into a smile or dance or even sing randomly and unexpectedly in public is a very real thing.  Tears too, of course.  When a show is really good, I eventually cry, often for the entire second half.  It just happens.  As soon as I met the real Alaina, this  moment happened for me there at The Fillmore.  

After the band left the stage, they came back for a couple more.  

And to end the night, the adorable two played the last song on the stage alone, just the two of them singing bad girls.

Bad girls.*

It was very beautiful.   

*See my earlier comment on reading the news.

And then the concert ended and I was left standing there, alone, with the plastic cups all over the floor around me. How can people recover that quickly from the experience of music?  Perhaps it takes me longer to right myself after an emotional shift.  I suppose the tears need to dry as well.

I hope I’m not wrong about the lovely love that Alaina & Patrick have.  I have been wrong before.  Music has a bit of trickery up its sleeve when it comes to love.  When I saw Fleetwood Mac in 2013, I thought Stevie and Lindsey were still in love, after all.

Tennis is playing in Sacramento tomorrow, Monday, November 27 at 8 p.m. at Harlow’s.  Tickets are $15.  Check it out.

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