The mid-'90s onslaught of overseas rockers was met with three reactions from the pop world: acceptance (Oasis), rejection (Pulp) and cult status (Blur). Supergrass falls directly into the third category. The band's show doesn't stray much from the uber-catchy arrangements on the record, which leaves room for plenty of melodic power pop.
Amid the current glut of British here-today-gone-tomorrow buzz bands, it’s easy to forget the previous decade’s British invasion. Like the current one, the mid-’90s onslaught of overseas rockers was met with three reactions from the pop world: acceptance (Oasis), rejection (Pulp) and cult status (Blur). Supergrass falls directly into the third category; though the band’s never had a hit in the U.S., its four albums (including this year’s “Life on Other Planets,” from Island) are worshipped by the hipster throngs, its glam-influenced classic rock a template for nu-mod indie rockers. The band’s show doesn’t stray much from the uber-catchy arrangements on the record, which leaves room for plenty of melodic, fist-pumping power pop.
In a blitzkrieg 75 minutes, the band rushed through career highlights, both old (the jangly “Pumpin’ on the Stereo”) and new (the anthemic, T-Rexish “Seen the Light”). Keyboardist Roy Coombes, just anointed with official-member status after a few years occasionally touring with the band, added groovy Moog lines to the poppier songs and stepped back when the band ventured into punk territory, occasionally blasting through brother Gaz Coombes’ wavering vocals. Keeping the set short was a smart move; there was no time for the three-minutes-and-under arrangements of the band’s song to feel stale, and Supergrass’ no-frills energy never felt forced or prolonged.
Openers Paloalto could be considered a part of the current British invasion — if only they were actually British. The Los Angeles band’s recent album “Heroes and Villains” sounds like a sequel to Travis’ “The Invisible Band,” which itself sounds like an extension of Coldplay’s “Parachutes.” Paloalto’s songs coast on the same melodic sense as either of those bands, and their short, grandiose set was full of easily digestible meandering melancholy.