October 30, 2018 at The Sinclair
As Gus Dapperton hopped across the stage on one foot, swinging around a tiny purse, there was a lot to absorb about his appearance. He had his hood up, transition glasses on, and high-waisted pants complete with a wallet chain. As his band began playing the opening song, ‘Gum, Toe and Sole’, bright and saturated graphics appeared behind him, creating the perfect backlight to his childlike twirling and kicking. Another noticeable presence was the keyboard player, whom he later introduced with a low, comically southern accent as his sister, Ruby Amadelle. She had just as many moves as her brother, leading me to believe that the energy runs in the family. I was caught off guard a few times by the signature scream-singing that Gus Dapperton has perfected, and every time I heard it there was a palpable energy boost in the room. The animation that Gus and his sister displayed was almost contagious: however, their energy wasn’t quite backed up by the majority of the music they were performing.
Before he began playing ‘Prune, You Talk Funny’, Gus announced that it was going to be a “dancing song”. He invited the crowd to dance and promised that the band would be doing so up on stage. The majority of the performance felt overdone; it felt as if the siblings were trying to convince the audience that we should be having just as much fun as they were up on stage. The desire to have an engaged crowd is understandable, however the fervor with which they were setting the tone just made it awkward.
The third song, ‘Beyond Amends’ was, by far, the best demonstration of the talent that the group has in its ranks. Backed by Ruby’s soulful voice, the frenzied on-stage dancing slowed for a few minutes, at last allowing the audience to just listen and appreciate the beautiful music that the band had to offer. The crowd finally seemed to fully come alive during the second to last song when the band jumped into playing a cover of the classic, ‘Twist & Shout’.
Gus Dapperton may have struggled to get his groove this time, however he and his band show the youthful promise of a band bound for success.