by April Foster
Big Troubles opened the show with its signature brand of fuzz pop. The young quartet stuck mostly to its recent release, Romantic Comedy, but also played a number of cuts off 2010's Worry. The band's sound combines the guitar-driven, '90s-influenced flavor of shoegaze with bookish indie pop. Highlights from the show included a ripping, distorted take on "Misery," a windows-down, fast-paced version of "Minor Keys," and a lush, harmonized rendition of "Softer Than Science."
Big Troubles had a big sound—the guitar players were locked in and effortlessly created a wall of distorted textures. The only problem was that the vocal delivery fell flat, at times, amid the vacuum of loud guitars. Either way, Big Troubles was a nice complement to the headliners, Real Estate.
Real Estate channels positive vibes and nostalgic imagery to create a mix of relaxing, chilled-out beach pop. On its first trip to Boise, the band showcased nearly all of the songs off the recently released Days. In the course of an hour-long set, the five-piece moved from soporific, soothing dual guitar melodies on songs like "Suburban Dogs," to sunglasses-and-umbrella psychedelic instrumental jams on "Kinder Blumen," to crowd-pleasing, hook-heavy pop gems on "It's Real."
Guitarists Matt Mondanile and Martin Courtney, along with bassist Alex Bleeker, utilize their unique chemistry to intertwine their clean reverb-laden tones, creating light, dreamy patterns and relaxing sounds. When the lights came on after the encore, the audience's blissed-out satisfaction was apparent.