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Review: The Griswolds

The Griswolds, The Griswolds live

Be impressive indeed

Words by Ana Anguiano

Sometimes the stars align and you make it to a show early, get some amazing merch, settle down with a good beer, and watch a great show. Other times you show up a little late, your name’s not on the list, and you miss most of the show.

The most puzzling part of sitting outside of Crescent Ballroom listening to Australia’s The Griswolds is how strikingly perfect they were playing. I could have sworn the bar was playing their album through the sound system — it was so on point. Even the bits of banter going on inside were so delightful they felt canned—oh, it’s the drummer’s birthday! Oh, this one goes out to Phoenix!

Once I got in, not only was it shocking to see them actually playing their hearts out live and in front of an audience, it felt like Crescent could hardly contain them. It’s been a while since The Griswolds touched down in Phoenix with local favorites Miniature Tigers. The crowd was overwhelmingly under 21, which I can never get mad at because it makes drinks much easier to access.

There’s no denying just how handsome the band is up close and personal. Being an avid follower of their mischief on Snapchat, it was a little odd to see them in the flesh. Luckily, The Griswolds put on an impeccable show. They are the kind of band that is seemingly on perma-tour forever and ever. You can tell by the air-tight set list and gracefully unwieldy stage presence that this is what they do best.

Their songs are upbeat, happy tunes about coming to America and not missing someone while being away on tour, but you don’t actually care about the lyrics when they grace the stage. All my eyes could focus on was singer Chis Whitehall’s dangerously slinky, off the shoulder cut off t-shirt flirting with the entire audience.

The band plowed through most of their album Be Impressive and dabbled a bit with their older songs from Heart of a Lion. The second the first few notes of “Beware The Dog” started playing, the entire room lit up and kids couldn’t stop bopping around. It was refreshing to see so many people dancing and getting into the show rather than snapping pictures. I felt like a total square trying to snap pictures from my terribly low vantage point, even the youngsters around me—notorious for their cellphone addiction—judged me for ruining their experience.

The Griswolds promised to hang around and you could tell they really meant it. The entire show, no matter how many times they’ve had to perform it, was just for the select few in the audience. They closed with a promise to return soon, and who knows, by then they will probably have another album under their belt and two more world tours in the works. It sounds positively grueling, but they make it look so cool.

Being so late to the party and so old, I ducked out after the show, but considering how enthusiastic the crowd was when left, I have no doubt headliners Walk The Moon had their hands full after that opener.

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