November 7th, 2016 at Great Scott
Tennyson’s music is littered with the simple sounds of alarm clocks, doorbells and rain drops, and on their first visit to Boston, the electronic duo put these sounds to work alongside a magnificent light show at the Great Scott in Allston. Opening for Tennyson was Photay, a burgeoning electronic producer who also dabbles with incorporating natural sounds into his music. Danceable, thought-provoking and powerful, Photay delivered with his set. Photay’s Bandcamp can be found here.
Before Tennyson took the stage, there seemed to be an issue setting up two long chains of thin lights strips. Technicians and both members of the group kept climbing on and off stage, attempting to fix the issue. Eventually, after a bit of a wait, the lights functioned, and the audience confirmed with a collective gasp of awe that the wait was worth it. Taking their place on stage, singer/producer Luke said a quick hello as he stood behind his keyboard and synthesizer and introduced his sister Tess, who sat behind an electronic drum set. Almost immediately after, they jumped right into the first song of the night, “All Yours.” The venue suddenly vibrated with sound and was drowned in flashing colors. The lights were perfectly in sync with the music, and it was amazing to see the duo perform live alongside a preset light show.
Tennyson is barely four years old, and at one point in the show, when the audience was asking for more, Tess joked, “I don’t think we have that much music out.” The duo was conscious of how limited their selection was, and had a great order to their set list. Their second song was “7:00 AM” and the crowd once again relished in the familiar sound of the alarm clock that starts the track off. As the set continued, songs with Luke’s vocals were introduced, like “Beautiful World,” but unfortunately didn’t translate as well on stage as they do over headphones. This was mainly due to a technical difficulty; Luke’s vocals were drowned out by the heavy production. Despite this, the crowd didn’t seem to care and by the end of their set, everybody was begging them to return. It was a cold Monday night but Tennyson made the trip to Great Scott worth it, and I hope to see them in Boston again soon.