Watch Tennis encore at the High Noon Saloon

Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley

The lo-fi beach pop of Tennis charmed a large contingent of admirers at the High Noon Saloon.  Denver couple Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore weave a derivative mix of Brian Wilson meets St. Vincent that transport listeners to a simpler carefree world. Swaying hips and other hypnotic gyrations filled the room. I kept expecting 60's beach babe Annette Funicello or the Ronettes to make a guest appearance.

Alaina Moore's slight frame packs a powerfully hypnotic voice that complements her husband's spirited guitar playing. With all the nautical references from their first album "Cape Dory" Tennis could easily be the indie hipster version of Thurston Howell III and his wife Lovey from Gilligan's Island! 

The airy atmosphere took on a more serious tone when Alaina mentioned their last visit to Madison at the height of the Capitol union protests. "We're glad everyone came tonight," said Alaina. "We played here last year at the High Noon during the protests", she continued. "You were doing important work."

Tennis was showcasing their second album 'Young & Old" that just came out on Fat Possum Records. The album was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys who adds more muscle to the delicate Tennis sound and fewer references to aquatic themes.

If Hall and Oates had married their Philadelphia blue-eyed soul with an indie rock pedigree, heavy on guitars, they would of sounded a lot like Surgeons in Heat. The R&B outlaws put on an amazing opening overflowing with material from their soon-to-be released "Midnight at Bellevue" EP. Sweet soulful vocals on top of catchy pop rhythms. We can see why Daytrotter and NPR are so excited about the potential of this four-piece Madison/Milwaukee outfit.

Brighton, MA joked about Madison being their second home due to the numerous gigs the band performs here. The Chicago band delivered a powerful sound with imaginative phrasing and tuneful melodies that paint colorful backdrops reminiscent of classic singer/songwriters like Springsteen and Jackson Browne. 

© 2023 Rock of the Arts