The Sounds @ 9:30 Club - 11/28/2016


The Sounds released their second album, Dying to Say This to You, a decade ago in 2006. The Swedish new wave band’s breakout album, it brought them to the attention of a worldwide audience and made them standard indie dance club fare for all of that year. The band seemed poised to make it big, but while their three follow-up albums managed to maintain a dedicated fanbase, they failed to carry the band over the edge into the always-fickle music mainstream. The band last toured in the US in 2014, and after a few years of silence since it might have been fair for fans here to assume that they had gone the way of contemporaries like The Rapture and Klaxons who split around that time. But after a brief run of Scandinavian shows this summer, the band announced that they would be returning to the road, for a ten-year celebration of the album that brought them into the spotlight.

 The Sounds performing at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on November 28th, 2016 (photo by Matt Condon /  @arcane93 )

The Sounds performing at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on November 28th, 2016 (photo by Matt Condon / @arcane93)

Album tours draw on audience nostalgia, and this one was no exception. From the opening notes of “Song With a Mission,” many in the audience were singing along. The band’s draw has dropped back over their absence to the hardcore fans, as was evidenced by the stage in the 9:30 Club being pushed far forward from its usual position to make the room smaller and more intimate. But those who were there packed the space and buzzed with excitement over hearing songs – some of which the band hadn’t performed live in a decade – that had taken numerous turns through their CD players and iPods back in the day. Of course “Painted By Numbers” and “Tony the Beat” made an appearance, but fans seemed equally thrilled to hear “Queen of Apology,” “Ego,” and “Running Out of Turbo” amongst others. Singer Maja Ivarsson and her bandmates were in fine form, appearing to have barely aged over the intervening years.

After making a track-by-track run through of Dying to Say This to You, the band wasn’t done. From there they took a tour through some of the best tracks from their other albums, including the title track of their 2002 debut Living in America, “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake” and “Midnight Sun” from 2009’s Crossing the Rubicon, and “Shake Shake Shake” from their most recent release, 2013’s Weekend. The set also featured a new song that the band released as a single several weeks earlier, “Thrill.” As a preview of what the band has coming up, it showed that they’ve lost none of their energy or edge.

The show was opened by two bands, LA-based indie pop group Zipper Club and Austin, TX post-punk rockers My Jerusalem.


Photos by Matt Condon
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