On their debut album, “So Much for the City,” Irish group the Thrills conjure up so much good-vibe California spirit it’s tempting to declare them this generation’s Beach Boys. But live, they bring to mind another entity altogether: The band, especially singer Conor Deasy, performs with the kind of intensity and command reminiscent of early U2.
Bono look-alike Deasy takes control of the room when he sings, his angular, occasionally Wayne Coyne-esque voice never overtaken by the sweet harmonies of guitarist Daniel Ryan and bassist Padraic McMahon. It’s obvious from Deasy’s changing inflections and determined performance he’s not interested in just re-interpreting the band’s record, and for his part, Ryan added grit and distortion to songs that usually jangle and sparkle.
The Thrills branched out from the sunny sounds of “So Much for the City” with two new songs that demonstrated an unexpected range. The first was a multifaceted Springsteen-via-the-Who rocker, the other a meandering waltz. A young band this revered could rest on its laurels, but it’s obvious that’s not an option for Deasy and his crew; of course, it never was an option for the Beach Boys or U2, either.
Opener Patrick Park apparently soaked in the Irish vibe backstage. The L.A. native’s straightforward guy-with-a-guitar ballads were infused with oom-pah spirit thanks to a two-piece band and Park’s wavering vocals.