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Concert Review: The Griswolds at A&R Music Bar

Touring in support of their new album, High Times For Low Lives, The Griswolds headlined at A&R Music Bar, with openers Dreamers and Kid Runner. After releasing their first EP in 2013, The Griswolds shot to fame with the hit single “Beware the Dog” off their first full-length album, Be Impressive. Having previously played bigger stages in Columbus, with Walk the Moon and Magic Man, it was a treat for fans to be up close and personal at A&R. They kicked off the show with the high energy track “Role Models” off of High Times For Low Lives, before jumping into “16 Years” off Be Impressive. Lead singer/guitarist Chris Whitehall (pictured left) is always working hard onstage and performs each of his songs with reckless abandon.

The Griswolds’ set was a great mix of songs spanning both of their albums keeping the crowd jumping and dancing throughout, only slowing down for more introspective tracks “Rufio”and “High Times For Low Lives.” The new album explores new territory for the Australian rockers, including a collaboration with rapper Lizzo. Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain any singles to match those from Be Impressive, but make no mistake, it’s still full of great material. Towards the end of The Griswolds’ set, Dreamers’ drummer, Jacob Wick, was out partying with the rest of the crowd before jumping back into stage to join the rest of Dreamers and The Griswolds for a rousing cover of Outkast’s seminal song, “Hey Ya.” It's clear that The Griswolds are here to stay,despite the announced departure of their bassist, Tim John.

Columbus natives, Kid Runner (below), opened the show, and as always put on a killer show. Kid Runner’s indie alt-pop tunes are immediately infectious, and always quickly hook those in the crowd who are new to the group. Their tight eight song opening set highlighted new hits “Give Me Something To Love”and “Don't Change Me” off their newest EP, Body Language, as well as older tracks “Thinking Out Loud”and “Flash Fashion.” If you're not familiar, check out this band now.

Also opening, and touring with The Griswolds, was the now LA based band, Dreamers (below). The band originally formed in New York City when singer/guitarist Nick Wold was living in his tiny rehearsal space. They released their debut album, This Album Does Not Exist, last year, having previously released an EP. Their single “Sweet Disaster” has recently been receiving radio play across the country and has been featured on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation.

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