American indie pop band, Smallpools, brought a full house to the 40 Watt Tuesday night. Formed in 2013, the band is relatively young, but you would never know it from the presence they bring to the stage. With big hooks, power chords and undeniably catchy melodies, it’s impossible not to dance and sing along as they showcase their genuine talent on stage.
Opening for the band was songwriter turned solo artist Phoebe Ryan, whose lighthearted pop and memorable melodies brought lots of charisma to the stage and got the crowd adequately pumped for alternative pop band, Machineheart. Their shimmering, upbeat sound and endlessly endearing vocals of lead singer, Stevie Scott, had the crowd absorbed in the music. The band closed with their hit, “Circles”–a bouncy track that earned its’ way into Spotify’s viral 50 chart earlier this year.
Both openers set the stage for the pop-influenced sound of Smallpools. The minute the band took the stage and broke into the first chords of “Over and Over,” the crowd went crazy. The positivity and eagerness of fans was tangible in the room, and this remained steadfast as the chords drifted into “Dyin’ to Live.” An impressive drum solo by Beau Kuther closed out the opening set, leaving the audience on a whimsical high.
When the band took the stage again, they slowed things down a bit with “A Real Hero”–an emotional track that highlighted the pure vocals of lead singer, Sean Scanlon. This mellow mood didn’t last for long though. Soon, Scanlon told the story of a girl trying to escape the fishbowl life in the catchy hit,”Mason Jar,” a track off their debut LP, LOVETAP!.
This mood carried into the next track, “American Love,” as the band promoted their tour of the same name. Surprisingly enough, Smallpools was signed to a major label in 2013 before they even played a live show. Flash forward two years and here they are, on tour promoting their first full-length album. However, as displayed in their show Tuesday night, this “lack” of experience is no hindrance to the vibrant performance they bring to the stage.
Before diving into the next track, the band gave an anecdote about one of their greatest musical inspirations–The Killers. An endearing mashup of Smallpools’ hit, “Karaoke” and The Killers’ track, “Human,” followed, leaving the crowd eager for more. One of the most exciting moments of the night, however, was when Scanlon urged the audience to put away all technology, for just one song. As the track, “Street Fight” filled the room, Scanlon jumped into the crowd with a video camera, giving fans a genuine, personal and undeniably exciting moment with the lead vocalist.
When Scanlon jumped back on stage, the band broke into an acoustic mashup of Major Lazer’s “Lean On” and the traditional “Lean on Me.” The acoustic melody was even complete with a campfire (on the iPad of course).
In the encore performance, the band performed an exciting arrangement of “Killer Whales,” complete with inflatable whales to toss around the crowd, followed by “No Story Time”–another track off their 2013 EP. The infectious single that drove the band to the top of the charts closed the night–avid Smallpools fans and newcomers alike found delight in the hit track, “Dreaming,” and the night ended on a playful high.
After Tuesday’s performance, it’s evident that this band is becoming more than just a big fish in a small(pool)–they are on their way to a bigger and better ocean.
A junior studying journalism and music business at the University of Georgia, Camren spends her time procrastinating under the discover tab on Spotify and taking pictures of her dog. After spending the summer abroad, she has a remarkable appreciation for good gelato, cheap wine and British accents. With favorites like Simon and Garfunkel, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay and Moon Taxi, she is open to a variety of musical genres and is a connoisseur of any and all music festivals. In her spare time you can find her binge watching her latest obsession on Netflix or dreaming of ways to meet and marry John Krasinski.