When I heard Grapetooth was coming to Philadelphia, I couldn’t help but lose my mind. I texted all my friends, begging for someone to come with me, but had no luck. I decided to go by myself; while not ideal, I’ve done it before. I missed out on Grapetooth’s Brooklyn show last September and I wasn’t missing out again.
The Chicago-based duo, made up of Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks and producer Chris Bailoni aka Home-Sick, set out on their first tour this month. They released their self-titled debut back in November and have been doing shows here and there.
Grapetooth’s 80’s-inspired synthpop album has an infectious, make-you-wanna-dance vibe, and I’ve been listening to it (almost) non-stop since its November release. I knew the hype would translate to their live show and I definitely was not disappointed. Gtooth took the stage at an intimate 150 capacity venue, Boot & Saddle, this past Friday night with a short 45-minute set that had everyone groovin’.
After Frankel kicked the show off with a new, untitled harmonica ballad, Bailoni and touring drummer, Justin Vittori, joined him on stage. Immediately, they created a rowdy atmosphere by starting (and missing a cue) with their reckless anthem, “Violent.” Laughing off the misstep, the duo showed off a carefree, slacker attitude that the audience most likely expected to see if they know anything about the member’s other projects.
Frankel prefaced most songs with “this one’s my favorite” (relatable!) It showed by the way he and Bailoni jumped, two-stepped, and even performed some karate-inspired moves to each one. Seeing Bailoni come out from behind the keyboard was especially exciting. His spontaneous energy and crowd interaction are unmatched; it’s impossible not to let loose when you see him dance.
Even during downtempo twangy ballads like “Mile After Mile”, the audience’s enthusiasm stayed at a high. Frankel and Bailoni would yell at the crowd and the crowd would yell, dance, and sway right back.
The show peaked with chaotic energy during their debut single and closer “Trouble.” The crowd turned into a mosh with everyone reaching towards the duo as they leaned over the audience. Someone decided to jump on stage. But, awkwardly enough, no one followed suit. He had to hop back off with a sad stage dive.
Grapetooth left the crowd wanting more but, after running through nearly every song on their album there was, unfortunately, nothing left to give. Hopefully, we can look forward to hearing new music from the duo in the near future.
You won’t want to miss out on seeing Grapetooth next time they’re in a city near you! Until then be sure to check out Grapetooth’s self-titled debut album, available now on all major streaming services.