Some bands should come with health warnings. Bright Eyes or The Cure, for example, should warn prospective listeners of the music’s ability to make a gloomy-puss out of them. Denver’s Apples In Stereo, on the other hand, bring a high risk of developing diabetes. Listening to the pop-rockers is like eating a candy bar with each song: they’re short, they’re sweet and they leave you wanting another one right after, even though you know you shouldn’t. So it’s no surprise that we were left with a bit of a toothache after last night’s show at Lee’s Palace.
Touring as a six piece, The Apples made things even worse by constantly bopping around the stage in bounds of energy. Singer/guitarist Robert Schneider, along with long-time members guitarist John Hill and bassist Eric Allen, was a seasoned performer, knowing when to play to the audience and when to just play. The two backing keyboard players made sure that things never died down, constantly switching between playing keyboards and playing the tambourine, maracas or the cow bell, combined with dancing, head bopping and singing. Oh, did we mention that one keyboard player was dressed like a futuristic spaceman/alien, had light-up sunglasses and sort of looked like George Michael from Arrested Development?
Even though The Apples are presented as a band, it was clear that everyone in the audience knew that Schneider was the man behind everything. He got the biggest cheers and was the one that audiences members wanted to get props from (which he kindly gave many times throughout the set). He indulged the die-hards in the audience by leading The Apples through a set that was a good split between older material and news songs from New Magnetic Wonder. While oldies “I Can’t Believe” and “Do You Understand?” got the loudest cheers of the night, those in attendance had no problem getting into the newer songs like “Energy” and “Skyway.”
If there’s any complaint that can be made, it’s that The Apples seemed content to play the songs as very guitar heavy rock and rollers. For all the studio wizardry and musical segues in New Magnetic Wonder, the songs weren’t as lush onstage as they were in the record. Not that any portion of the night was bad, but it felt like a change of pace was needed at times. Maybe my blood sugar level would’ve been in a little better upon leaving.
Photo by Carrie Musgrave.