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What You Missed: Tennis at Majestic

It's hard to ignore Patrick Riley's affectionate glances toward Alaina Moore--his eyes are either on the instrument in front of him or on her. In return, she sings their love story in front of a sold out audience.

It's a cooler night in Madison, but indie pop band, Tennis, bring a type of coastal warmth, Alaina filling the room with her airy soprano vocals and Patrick backing her with sharp guitar licks, softened by reverb. They've also brought along a drummer and bass player, although they tuck into the background while the married pair take center stage.

There's three keyboards on the stage, two of which are faced toward each other. Alaina and Patrick will occasionally visit each, although there are few times when they meet there. Alaina switches between two keyboards and Patrick mostly sticks to guitar.

They're a pretty chill band, and the audience follows suit. There's plenty of swaying and head nodding, but no flailing dance moves, which is good when the room is this packed. Tennis's lighting keeps some movement in the room, with strobe lights and dancing patterns that reach all the way to the balcony. Alaina is the only one with a mic in front of her; she doesn't speak much between songs, but when she does, she's regularly thanking the audience.

The couple first met in college, and after getting together, they went on a seven-month sailing trip together. You can almost hear the crashing waves and feel the warm sand as you listen through their work. They started the band after the trip and eventually married. They take on a sound that nods to dream pop and surf rock, with their earlier releases leaning toward the latter. Their latest album, Pollen, even has them inching toward disco and lo-fi, inspiring us of springtime meadows and dewy lawns.

Their opener, the talented Sam Evian, also has a sound that points toward nature, despite being rooted in New York. His sound is vast and psychedelic, and with a four-person band, it's almost like they're a jam band. Albeit a strange combination, he reminds me of The Beatles meets Thundercat.

The audience stays attentive--they give Alaina the spotlight, never daring to sing over her, but they cheer vehemently when she introduces songs like, "Borrowed Time," which she explains is a song they got to write for the animated show, Rick and Morty. They roll through the setlist pretty quickly. She does occasionally pause to take a dance break or intro songs like, "In the Morning I'll Be Better," by saying, "This one's my life mantra," but they'd rather fill their time with lengthened keyboard solos.

It's only on a few of their bouncier songs where the audience out-sings Alaina. In their encore, they hit "Need Your Love" and "Glorietta," where the crowd can't resist to scream out the choruses. They finish off with, "I'll Haunt You," which might be the sweetest haunting of the season as she sings, "Leaning in for one more kiss/I'm holding you so long/I will haunt you when I'm gone."

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