photos + review: the vaccines @ 930 2.1.2013

There’s something extremely intriguing about a band that makes teenage girls swoon without being designed to do so. No customized choreography, no effeminate good looks, no neatly packaged quartet engineered to make spotify debates irrelevant. Yet the Vaccines are greeted by screaming adolescent fans with parents waiting outside the club for them, all seemingly grateful to be breathing the same air as the foursome at the very beginning of their first North America tour.

San Cisco, a very young outfit from Australia, open up the night with absolutely enchanting collection of charming songs that carefully toe the line between bright and lovely, and obnoxiously twee. Gems like “Awkward” and “Girls Do Cry” are wonderfully catchy and hook the young crowd immediately. Above all, the chemistry between frontman Jordi Davieson and drummer Scarlett Stevens is what really carries the band. They rarely make eye contact but, the two mesh flawlessly from across the stage in a way that only childhood friends can. Their call and response only adds to their appeal, and at the end of their set, countless new fans are vying to approach Stevens and profess their admiration. For their first U.S. tour, San Cisco are tugging at all the right heartstrings and creating something incredibly danceable at the same time.

When The Vaccines take the stage, they’re greeted by screaming fans, and that catches everyone over 20 off guard. We thought this kind of obsession was reserved for top 40 acts who launch their own fragrances. But The Vaccines hammer right into a formidable set, breaking out “Wrecking Bar” early on and successfully riding the resulting energy through the rest of the night. Justin Young is an excellent showman, responding with just the right amount of charisma for this bewitched crowd without coming off as arrogant. Freddie Cowan makes good on his family name (his older brother is Tom of Horrors’ fame) through his determined, aggressive style rather than showmanship. Every single song selection is greeted with rabid approval, and there’s not a weak one in the set– “Tiger Blood,” “Teenage Icon,” “Blow It Up” and everything in between are delivered with the same unbelievable enthusiasm with absolutely no hesitation.

At the end of the day, we love a band that can make the most vile creatures on this earth care about music. Absolutely nothing is worse than teenagers (or anyone for that matter) who collect music only to drawl apathetically about it. The best (and at times obnoxious) sight in the world is to see a band with that power that insist on delivering a monumental show that will breed obsession. Not with the way the band looks, not with their press gimmicks, but with an infectious sound that can open up a path to countless others that are equally as lovable. The Vaccines did just that, and if that means I have to hear hordes of fifteen-year-olds fawning over Come of Age and Taylor Swift’s Red in the same breath, bring it on.