The Sounds
Date: November 8, 2017
Location: The Observatory, Santa Ana

the sounds

A few hours before the start of the concert free tickets became available on The Observatory’s RSVP link. I couldn’t believe my luck! I had hoped to find a way to obtain free tickets for this show, but lost hope once the day neared. Thankfully I received an email notification alerting me of free tickets for grabs. I couldn’t let this opportunity slip by and took advantage on it. My luck continued as the venue decided to provide free parking! This concert ended up becoming a literal free event, what more could you ask for.

This show marks the first of stop of their “The Tales That We Tell” tour which will run for eight shows in California. “The Tales That We Tell” is the bands newest EP which was released on June 16, 2017. As the band mentions whenever they perform in California, they view the state as their second home. The band frequently plays multiple concerts in this state, being welcomed by open arms by their hundreds of fans. During the evening singer ‎Maja Ivarsson reminisced briefly with some individuals in the front of the mosh pit. She spoke about how 15 years or so they performed at venues such as The Observatory (The Galaxy back then) during the beginning of their careers. After all of those years they’re still on tour performing at these intimate venues for their fans.

At 8:00 pm dream pop band Ggoolldd took the stage to the delight of the small, but enthusiastic crowd. Sultry lead singer Margaret Butler appeared on stage with a red sparkling, sequence robe with the word MADNESS written in the back and light up shoes. The bands dreamy, soft sound felt as one were waking through a beautiful dream which lasted for half an hour. Their flowing beats combined with the lead singers hypnotic vocals made them one of the most memorable opening bands I’ve seen to date. Though a marvelous singer, Butler needs more practice with the microphone. There were moments where she swung it around accidentally hitting a cymbal, “I guess I can’t twirl a robe and swing a microphone at the same time. We all learn things everyday.” For the second half of their performance the robe came off as she jumped in the mosh pit, dancing with lucky fans. Butler’s aerobic dancing skills made her a sight to behold as she grooved her way through the stage.

I’ve never had a polarizing reaction to a band as I did with Fitness. I honestly did not care for the first half of the performance that evening. The mohawk styled lead singer’s energy remained constantly high that he never stood still for a second. This proved impossible to obtain a decent photo of him through, try as I might. I did not care for the band’s music as it deterred from sounding like rock. A few songs have a punk sound, but mostly sounded like rap. The band were out of place as their music didn’t mesh well with the two female fronted bands. Halfway through their performance the lead singer sat down to meditate. I kid you not, he actually did at. That seemed to have a calming affect on him as for the rest of the night the songs they performed were slower and significantly coherent. For Matter Of Time the singer faced the left side of the crowd, singing this slow ballad. I enjoyed this second half of their performance better than the first half. Though the singer put in a lot of fiery passion in his performance, their music doesn’t align to my taste.

At 9:52 pm the lights dimmed as the male members of The Sounds played Intro. Soon thereafter Ivarsson causally walked on stage; it took a few seconds for some in the crowd to realize that she had already appeared. The Sounds are a Swedish indie rock that formed in 1998 in the city of Helsingborg. The members of the band are Maja Ivarsson (vocals), Félix Rodríguez (guitar), Jesper Anderberg (keyboards, piano, guitar), Johan Bengtsson (bass), and Fredrik Blond (drums). Settling into position, the band began the night with one of their biggest hits Painted By Numbers. The fabulous Ivarsson had on a stylish black dress that showed off her gams while she rocked in black high heels. The power house singer strutted around the stage as she took control for the next hour and half. Her presence illuminated the venue as flashes of bright lights consumed the band to no end.

One of The Sounds greatest songs (in my opinion) is Like A Lady, which Ivarsson was anything but. Through the night she spat on stage multiple times and smoked a cigarette. I’ve seen artists drink on stage, but never smoke a cigarette which caught me off guard. The singer danced effortlessly as she rocked to the tunes; opting to take off her high heels to roam around the audience. Her passionate emotions reached the surface of her performance as she expressed herself to the crowd. She’s one not to shy away from doing rock antics, which is reason enough to see her perform. Fan favorites Tony The Beat, Living In America, No One Sleeps When I’m Awake, and Something To Die For made strong appearances to the cheers of the fans.

Coming back from a short intermission, the band performed a personal favorite of mine; Hit Me Hard! That song along with Living In America were my favorite performances of the evening. I love the songs of their “Living In America” album, disappointed that Seven Days A Week failed to pop up that evening. Oh well can’t win them ever time. Soon the evening came to an end with Hope You’re Happy Now, a track that the band mentioned as their go to song to end concerts. Overall this winded up being a pleasant concert experience. This concert is completely different from the one I attended last year. This one had less flashing lights, but more focus on the band members. Though they hardly played most of my favorite songs of theirs, this ended up being a pleasant experience.

The Sounds Setlist
1. Intro
2. Painted By Numbers
3. Stay Free
4. Fire
5. Tony The Beat
6. Much Too Long
7. Mine For Life
8. Shake Shake Shake
9. No One Sleeps When I’m Awake
10. Thrill
11. The Darkness
12. Something To Die For
13. The Best Of Me
14. 4 Songs & A Fight
15. Living In America
16. Outlaw
17. Rock ‘n’ Roll

18. Hit Me!
19. Turn To Gold
20. Hope You’re Happy Now

Fitness Setlist
1. Love The Suffer
2. They Go Low
3. Get Dead
4. Matter Of Time
5. Feel The Weight
6. I Don’t Feel Anything
7. Good Bad Time

Ggoolldd Setlist
1. Without You
2. Secrets
3. City Lights
4. Excelsior Springs
5. The Way That I Feel
6. Undercovers

Trivial Notes

  • 19th concert at The Observatory.
  • 2nd time seeing The Sound.
  • Fitness’ official Instagram page liked the photo I tagged them in.
  • Fitness’ official Twitter page liked the Tweet they were tagged in.
  • Ggoolldd’s official Instagram page liked the photo I tagged them in.
  • Ggoolldd’s official Twitter page liked the Tweet they were tagged in and replied back stating: “Thanks Ed!!”