By Laura McWhorter
Hanging out with couples sucks. Weâ€™ve all undoubtedly had the pleasure of doing this exact thing once or twice in our lives â€“ itâ€™s like being on two bad dates at once. Watching them make eyes at one another, talk about their fights, openly profess their loveâ€¦Barf, right? Not tonight. Thatâ€™s essentially what a Submarines show is but instead of looking for an open window or a sharp object youâ€™re screaming for an encore.
Joined by a large showing of their family and friends at Brighton Music Hall, Boston duo/love birds, The Submarines turned audience members into the collective third wheel as they played through an impressive set of their signature toe-tapping, auto-biographical indie love pop. As the night went on we were taken through the ups and downs of their real-life romance complete with anecdotes â€“ and we didnâ€™t mind one bit.
â€˜Peace and Hateâ€™ kicked off the show with the lovely Blake Hazard on xylophone and guitar and her hubbie John Dragonetti on guitar and MacBook (yep). From there, it only got better. We were treated to an energetic and well-crafted set that spanned the catalogue. What I loved about watching this duo play is how well they compliment each other. Hazard was charming, light and ethereal while Dragonetti set a more masculine, focused tone â€“ keeping the set on track. Theyâ€™re very true to their studio sound â€“ providing the same complex layers and maintaining that electronic feel. They tour with a bassist and a drummer but unlike some other duos Iâ€™ve seen recently, the full band doesnâ€™t make the studio stuff seem any less authentic. The show is very much all about Blake and John and the tunes â€“ which I love.
They had the entire crowd on their feet from the start and kept us dancing as they played favorites such as â€˜Fireâ€™, â€˜Swimming Poolâ€™, â€˜Ivalooâ€™ and â€˜Tigersâ€™. The highlight of the night for me was the melancholy acoustic performance of â€˜Brighter Discontent.â€™ With so many poppy love tunes in the mix, itâ€™s easy for a set to become boring no matter how high-energy the songs might be. I think The Subs understood this and slowed it down a bit with this less-than-happy (but entirely gorgeous) little ditty. They ramped back up with â€˜Shoelacesâ€™ and the oh-so sappy â€˜The Sun Shines at Nightâ€™ and closed out the night on a high note with an encore of â€˜Anymoreâ€™ and â€˜Xaviaâ€™.
I always like homecoming performances. They feel more real and much more personal. The band was performing for their loved ones and we were lucky enough to be a part of it. While I originally said hanging out with couples is comparable to a trip to a dentist or multiple bad dates at onceâ€¦I still left my number. Theyâ€™re totally gonna call me, right? Right?