out and about: rooney
  • WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2011

  • Posted by: Siobhan Fludder

With only a week left in their US tour before they head to Beijing and Europe, Rooney stopped by Manhattan's Gramercy Theatre on Tuesday night to kick some much needed energy into yet another rainy day. Only a few minutes inside the venue were enough to forget about the downpour outside as concert goers fed off of each other's feverish chatter during the wait for the opening bands to begin their stage stomping. Without a doubt, the audience got what they wanted.

Considering the bubbly groove that backs every jam of Rooney's, the crowd was definitely itching for some bright flavor to charge up the wait. The first group to take the stage, New York's own Night Fever, were as eager to assist in this task as they were to make friends with the entire crowd, finishing off most songs by asking us all to "stay in touch". Voxhaul Broadcast then brought some hard soul to the stage, cranking up the electricity with vocalist David Dennis' relentless screams. But the crowd really came alive for the favorite opening set of the night, Skybombers, fresh from Melbourne, Australia. Maybe it's how much some of them look like Paul McCartney, maybe it's the accents, but most likely the palpable vigor that revved the crowd to life was due to the band's dedication to energy that increased musical intoxication with every song. The group radiated effortless charm as they banged out infectious indie rock tunes infused with actually commendable pop hints, passed around a white cowboy hat, and demonstrated a preference for leaning against the crowd barriers. By the time the set was over, ears were ringing from girls' screams and demands of an encore heated the life within the room for long enough to occupy the time until Rooney finally took the stage.

Luckily, the instantly converted Skybomber fans were still giddily impatient to see Rooney. The entire place erupted into ecstatic proclamations as the band finally bounded onto the stage, lead singer Rob Schwartzman (and his ever-present closed lip smile) running right up to the front to greet the audience with some enthusiastic waves. They then jumped right into it, opening the show with their classic hit "Blue Side", kicking off the non-stop jumps and happy head bops for the night. The setlist intermixed various tracks from newest album, Eureka, such as "Stars and Stripes" and "Holdin' On", but also played numbers from their debut, including "I'm A Terrible Person" and "If It Were Up To Me". Halfway through the show, Rooney members switched around their set up as Schwartzman took a seat at the drums and banged away while the drummer took on the vocals for a song or two. And yes, even from the back of the stage, Rob Schwarztman's smile was as content and visible as ever.

The crowd favorites began with "All Or Nothing", solidifying the night's good mood that was impossible to crack. The audience truly lost all composure, however, with Eureka's catchiest tune "Can't Get Enough", only encouraged further by following that song with their most notable "I'm Shakin'". They closed with "Not In My House", pretending to leave for no less than a sneeze before skipping back on stage for their encore.

And as if the constant smile, perfectly side swept hair, or microphone-clutching body leans weren't enough to convince us of how adorable he is to the female fans, Rob Schwartzman decided to end the night by leaning into the crowd and giving an enthusastic audience member a kiss right on the cheek. And thus the enjoyable blur of a Rooney show came to a close, leaving 98% of the crowd wishing they could have been the lucky girl at the front, but still euphoria-swept all the same.

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Rooney at Brooklyn Bridge Park

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