A sold-out crowd packed the Larimer Lounge Friday night to witness the Asteroids Galaxy Tour promote its late January release, “Out of Frequency.” Some were there, perhaps out of curiosity, having only heard the band’s “The Golden Age” in that ubiquitous Heineken ad or the band’s other irresistible track, “Around The Bend” from its 2010 debut, “Fruit.”
From the start, the six members of AGT owned the room. The hardcore throng that kept the front two-thirds of the room elbow-to-elbow never stopped cheering, dancing or enjoying themselves, even when AGT brought out the new tracks. I’m not a fan of horns generally, but on record, and especially live, AGT’s horns create their own atmosphere, making the songs swing like the last night of Mardi Gras. People sang/shouted along to most of the songs throughout the show. The band’s not-so-secret weapon is vocalist Mette Lindberg, whose looks no doubt were part of the reason the front of the Larimer was so jammed. To the uninitiated, Lindberg’s voice is reminiscent of a 10-year-old girl, Cyndi Lauper, or, more descriptively, a 10-year-old Cyndi Lauper.
Lindberg belts it out wonderfully live; her powerful voice acted as the greatest instrument in the band’s wall of sound. And who knew attractive blonde Scandinavian types could be so charismatic onstage? While not chatty, Lindberg did engage the room a bit, throwing in a Denver reference or a “Thank you, Colorado” where needed.
While dance, pop, funk and lounge elements were prominent elements, there were also some wonderful, blissful moments of electronica and psychedelia. AGT’s songs may sound purposefully designed for mass market appeal (Are you too cool for this band?), but it’s only because they load the best elements of the past (like producer Mark Ronson) onto easily likeable songs with great hooks, beats and instrumentation that repeated listens reveal to be far more than the simple dance songs they might appear to be to the casual listener.
At the Larimer Friday night, no one could casually listen. When AGT trotted out “The Golden Age” toward the end of its roughly 75 minute set, people were positively manic/euphoric; some breaking out in dance, others in virtual dry-humping, depending on their mood or alcohol intake.
Witnessing a band poised to catch fire bang out a performance this fun, in an intimate small club setting, provides that rare, sought-after live music experience; catching hungry bands on their way up is generally far more enjoyable than seeing them years later, in a larger venue, just as the band enters its “time to coast” phase. Based on Friday’s show, it’s hard to imagine AGT ever coasting.
Mike Long is a Longmont-based writer and comedian and a regular contributor to Reverb.