“Oh, say, wouldn’t you like to be/Older and married with me?” Forrest Kline croons a line from Oh! It Is Love, and out squeals a spontaneous “Yes!” from an unknown fan in the crowd. Forrest’s response: He wiggles his occupied ring finger as a playful gesture to remind us he’s already taken.
Nerdy confidence. Besides his raw musicality, that’s probably the next best trait the 30-year-old captain of Hellogoodbye wears proudly behind his oversized square glasses.
Hailing all the way from Huntington Beach, California, the indie pop outfit treated us to an intimate night at the Esplanade Theatre Studio, which transformed into a snazzy, cosy little club (dubbed The Mosaic Club) for the 10th and last year of the Mosaic Music Festival.
Kicking it off on day one of the festival, their opening notes filled the room with heavily synthesised echoes, introducing the audience to the newer sounds of their latest album, Everything Is Debatable, in the form of And Everything Became A Blur and The Magic Hour Is Now.
A Hellogoodbye concert is nothing short of casual and fun. Jokes and gibes courtesy of Forrest, drummer Michael Garzon, guitarist Andrew Richards, and multi-intrumentalist Augustine Rampolla set the stage for a display of boyish bonds and a plethora of literal “ba-dum-tss” moments.
Even when their exuberance was not reciprocated in equal measure, they were quick to loosen up the audience. What did they get the congregation to do, you ask? Squats, of all things! You would assume activities like collective squatting would customarily transpire at a gym, but when Hellogoodbye is in the house, anything goes. And that entails child-like antics such as Forrest’s erratic dancing in which we were lost as much as he was.
Soon, we were doing the same as the familiar melody of Here (In Your Arms) brought us down memory lane when Hellogoodbye stole our hearts with their first album eight years ago. Might I add that generating a pleasurable effect from auto-tune is no simple feat?
From the upbeat When We First Met, to the mellow Swear You’re In Love, the entire one-hour set rode on a wave of light-hearted jubilation backed by dance-inducing synthesisers. Like rolling the credits at the end of a film, the closing song, (Everything Is) Debatable, mirrors the triumphant feeling of crossing a finishing line. Dizzy bass lines and funky guitar licks included, its very hook is electro pop at its happiest.
“Can’t believe it’s going to be over so soon, you guys!” Forrest lamented over the auto-tune microphone. Neither could we. One hour was inadequate to quench our aching desire for more of Hellogoodbye. And characteristic of their name, they bid their hellos and goodbyes between much too short an interval that night.
- And Everything Became A Blur
- The Magic Hour Is Now
- When We First Met
- Getting Old
- When We First Kissed
- Oh! It Is Love
- Swear You’re In Love
- Here (In Your Arms)
- Just Don’t Let Go Just Don’t
- (Everything Is) Debatable
- The Thoughts That Give Me The Creeps
- Finding Something To Do
Photos Courtesy of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay