by Adam McGrath
Australian band Atlas Genius returned to Philadelphia with friends Family of the Year and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. for a night of feel-good pop music on South Street. Atlas Genius continued their good relationship with Radio 104.5, who presented Saturday’s show and also hosted two of the bands at a summer block party earlier in 2013.
The band’s radio success, spearheaded by hit single “Trojans,” no doubt led to the full house at the TLA, as well as to the crowd’s genteel make-up. Polite parents sat in the balcony and fresh-faced students dominated the floor, with only a few frat-boy wannabes shouting lame requests and insults in the quiet spaces between songs.
It’s not surprising that Atlas Genius has reached the mainstream. Their music is accessible, catchy, and well-executed. Led by brothers Keith (guitar/vocals) and Michael Jeffery (drums), and rounded out by Darren Sell on keyboards and a touring bass player, Atlas Genius writes modern pop songs with an electronic element that makes them danceable. Take that winning formula and put it on stage with charm and professionalism, and success is bound to follow.
Though Atlas Genius has been touring since 2011, their debut album When It Was Now (Warner Bros.) was not released until February of 2013. The band seems hesitant to preview any new material, as Saturday’s set was comprised of every track from the album. Opening with “On A Day” and “If So” and working through “All These Girls” and “Symptoms,” Keith Jeffery engaged the crowd and kept the energy up by climbing down to the railing and allowing some fans a closer look at his guitar work. After slowing things down for a solo performance of “Don’t Make a Scene,” the band finished strong with “Through the Glass” and “Electric,” and then brought the house down with an encore of “Trojans” and “Centred on You”.
Atlas Genius has found success in the increasingly crowded pop-rock genre, and by gaining radio support and selling out shows, there’s every reason to believe they’ll be coming back to the States for a long time to come.