Kicking off a short tour sandwiched between the release of their EP, Trust, and their second album, Actor-Caster (due March), Generationals showed up at the Old Rock House for a remarkably different set compared to their last appearance in town (opening for The Apples in Stereo at The Billiken Club). The last show conveyed a band distant and weary, possibly due to it being their last night on the tour. This time around, Generationals seemed a different band, both in membership and manner.
Generationals still boils down to its core duo, Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, but the cast around them was completely different this night. And though I missed the energy of previous drummer Tess Brunet, the current (and larger) lineup was apt in helping the pop sound even more full-bodied. In an intriguing move that really paid off, a few songs even featured a pair of local (?) horn players (complete with song sheets from possibly having just learned their parts that evening).
For a band that plays sun-buzzed 60’s pop, the previous show created a strange dissonant experience: fun songs played by a band looking like they weren’t having any fun. Thankfully this time around, the band seemed fresh and, if the 3D glasses on the drummer were any indication, ready to have a lot more fun this time. Even Joyner and Widmer, who still seem to generally be reserved in their stage persona, were considerably more interactive and accommodating than before, thanking the crowd for coming out on a snow-filled weeknight and introducing several new songs from the upcoming album.
Weeks before the show I was a little unsure about whether I wanted to see them again. I left the show eagerly anticipating the new album. Well done, Generationals.