Hands brought their recently buzzed-about synthpop sound to San Francisco’s Brick & Mortar Music Hall this past Friday. Supported by local upstarts Be Calm Honcho and the dark bluesy folk of Ally Hasche & The Bad Boys, Hands played through their debut album, Synesthesia, and the soaring melodies and impassioned performace of singer Geoff Halliday and crew really won me over into the thinking that this is a band to look out for.
The melodic choice cuts of the album, such as “Brave Motion,” “The Game Is Changing Us,” “Take It All,” and “Nothing But Animals” were things to behind in their live forms. Nuances were unearthed in live incarnations of the cuts that didn’t jump out at me on the record such as the circuitous, call-and-response track “Lonesome Body,” and guitarist Ryan Sweeney’s creeping arpeggio on “Elegant Road.” The rhythm section of Scott Hess and Alex Staniloff was, incredibly, just as lock-step tight as on record, which is no small feat given the twisty, dynamic compositions.
The combination of a fresh new band and an intimate venue combined well and the crowd didn’t seem quite prepared for such a flawless set. As Hands continue to ride the cresting wave of “bands you should know” media buzz, this crowd is going to multiply fast.
Be Calm Honcho: