Smallpools at The Crescent Ballroom
Smallpools at The Crescent Ballroom 11/16
by Taylor Gilliam
At this point in my life, I can say I am a Smallpools show veteran. I’ve seen them perform four times—once in Tucson with The Mowgli’s and Walk the Moon; once at The Marquee with MSMR and Grouplove; once in Boise, ID, with Nightmare and the Cat and Neon Trees; and now once at Crescent, finally the stars of the show.
For those unfamiliar with Smallpools, 1) you are sorely missing out and 2) the four-piece band comprises Sean Scanlon (vocals,) Mike Kamerman (guitar,) Joseph Intile (bass,) and Beau Kuther (drums) creating electropop songs that practically dare you to stand still. Since their formation and the release of their self-titled EP in July of 2013, they’ve been on the road opening for bands, promoting their four released tracks, covering New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give,” and slowly slipping new songs into their setlists.
Sunday night’s show at Crescent was Smallpools at the best I’ve ever seen them. They’ve gotten comfortable in front of large crowds and have a great time on stage, drawing from everyone’s excitement about the songs they recognize and the eagerness for the songs they’ll come to love once the album drops—the band said it might be as soon as early 2015.
“We used to like to Google ourselves,” Sean started out the story. He continued to tell us, as he does at every show, about how the results for “Smallpools” always includes articles about SeaWorld and how controversial it is to keep wild marine life in captivity, specifically to keep killer whales in small pools. The articles were the inspiration for new song “Killer Whales” that the band released in late August of this year, and as if to celebrate the release, they launched a GIANT blow-up orca into the crowd. I didn’t think there could be any more energy in the venue, but it doubled as everyone kept the pool toy in the air while the guys rocked out on stage with huge smiles on their faces.
Beau had an impressive drum solo, Joe took the usual photo of the crowd with the small dogs (dog figurines he hands to two lucky crowd members to hold for these photos,) and Mike stood and laughed as Sean made jokes about their first years in L.A. together. “We had to do some shit we didn’t wanna do,” Sean said.
But I’m glad they did it, and I can’t wait to see them again.