Smallpools falls flat at House of Blues


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Despite the intense wind overpowering the city, I, along with roughly under a thousand other people, made the journey to House of Blues to see indie rockers Smallpools. But what’s a dedicated fan without standing in blisteringly cold weather to see a show anyways? When initially taking the stage, Scanlon, frontman of the band, said just that.

“Thanks for waiting in the cold!” he said, flashing the audience a huge smile. The crowd, mostly made up of young girls, seemed to become ecstatically enthusiastic at just the sight of him. As the first notes of their intro began to play, an upbeat, optimistic energy bloomed. But despite the troop of eager fans, the Los Angeles quartet’s performance fell flat. The genuine stars of the concert were the openers, Waters and Magic Man.

“So who likes rock ‘n’ roll?” the lead singer of Waters, Van Pierszalowski, said before shredding his guitar. As a relatively new band, it was impressive how they commanded the attention of everyone in the room and utilized the stage. Even though the set lasted a little over twenty minutes, their lack of a deep discography was still shimmery, ecstatic and fun. They are certainly one to watch.

Not to be outdone, Magic Man set an even higher bar for Smallpools. The five-piece appeared to be just as young as the audience, but performed well beyond their years. They wore eccentric clothing, were backed by rainbow lights and presented a powerful vocal force. Their presentation was shocking, seeing as they executed every song astoundingly and yet acted as a precursor for the main headliner. The floor of the venue itself bounced along with the spastic dance moves of the first few rows.

After being able to see two such well-rounded openers, I anticipated a fanatical set from Smallpools. But much to my disappointment, the group only rippled the water: while the musical performance was stellar, the entertainment as a whole fell short. The four-piece act has some work to do on making the transitions less awkward.

Even with the silence between some of their hits, the mood of the room did not stop completely. The dance-inducing beats, infused with a hint of electronic power chords, egged the crowd into hops and two-steps.

While I would pick up a ticket just to catch Waters and Magic Man are Smallpools is just one of those bands that you should stand in the back and listen to.