Have Tapes N Tapes, the Minneapolis-based five-piece recently scooped up for the next Coachella and garnering accolades in all the coolest publications, earned their reputation as critical darlings of the indie scene? They did a pretty good job of proving to St. Louis’ Creepy Crawl this April that the answer to this question is YES.
Harlem Shakes, out of New York, opened the show and were clearly honored to have been asked to join the Tapes N Tapes tour. With 80s electronic-infused indie pop and distinct, love ‘em-or hate-‘em nasally vocals, they put on a lively set.
The fairly generous weeknight crowd was there for Tapes N Tapes, however. With a giant 2K Sports Hit-n-Run Tour tour bus outside (the band said on their MySpace page that they are happy to sell out when it means promoting video games), it’s clear that they are rising stars. Still touring on their 2006 release, The Loon [XL Recordings]—a somewhat schizophrenic disc that’s half-genius, half-forgettable, it’s worth noting that even the least worthy Tapes N Tapes tracks are full of creative experimentation.
Playing a mix of the past, the present album, and some new stuff, the crowd was as all over the moods as vocalist Josh Grier, with the fun of “Cowbell” and “Insistor” to the beautiful depth of “Omaha.”
Much more of a rock band live than one might expect, Tapes N Tapes cranked out a big sound, thanks especially to talents of drummer Jeremy Hanson who is clearly the backbone of this band. Keyboardist Matt Kretzmann often joined in the percussive fun, taking whacks on the cymbals in livelier moments. And vocals by both Grier and Erik Appelwick (bass/backing vocals) were strong and full of feeling, even if occasionally buried in the mix.
Amsterband opened the show.