Last night’s smug Grog Shop crowd did the time warp, and we’re not talking Rocky Horror Picture Show. The seven members of the Apples in Stereo’s touring posse arrived onstage dressed in customized silver space suits ready to take fellow humans back and forward in time, fueled their seventh album, Travellers in Space and Time.
Their goofy futuristic apparel – blinking sunglasses and all – planted smiles on our faces, but it was the gooey pop goodness that kept feet tapping through the night. The extent of our literal time travel only reached back to 1992, when the Apples played the first song they ever wrote and recorded (“Tidal Wave”). Yet the synth-flavored grooves that litter the new album go back a little further, to the days of Electric Light Orchestra’s prime.
“Dream About the Future” and “Told You Once” put fans in a frenzy of ‘80s dance paradise, while “Dignified Dignitary” played up what bassist Eric Allen refers to as the “scrappy punk band” side of things. After playing much of the new material, the Apples reached back to 2007’s New Magnetic Wonder for crowd pleasers like “Energy,” “Same Old Drag,” and “Sun is Out.”
Frontman Robert Schneider playfully transitioned between songs with proclamations like, “this is what music will sound like in the future.” This was after an opening set by the Generationals, who took us back to the organ-happy ‘60s.
Last night was an exercise in understanding musical influences of the past. But more than that, it was about getting excited that some of our favorite music is still being created today.