I headed to Springfield, Va. to catch Alex Goot headline a show at Empire, a decent club in the suburbs of D.C.
I only recently heard of Goot when he covered a song with We Are The In Crowd, and I immediately sought out his catalogue of original and cover songs. I’m a big fan of his voice and his use of piano, so I was excited to check him out.
I’m fairly certain Empire brought in local bands to open most of the show, and wow, they were pretty bad. When the national openers finally went on, I’d pretty much run out of patience.
King The Kid started things off, and they seemed like kind of a generic pop punk band, but did an admirable job with just a guitarist, bassist and drummer.
Luke Conard and Landon Austin (who also helped out during Goot’s set) were a good, but fairly generic acoustic duo who are apparently popular on YouTube for their cover songs.
Next was Sam Tsui, who played an energetic set of originals, cover songs (more?), and entertaining mashups of pop songs. His voice seemed pretty strong though, so I might check out his stuff online.
Finally it was time for Goot, and he delivered, playing several of my favorite tracks off his debut album of original songs like “Pretty Eyes”, “The Real You” and “Sensitivity”. He also mixed in a good set of covers, and my only complaint was that the set was too short!
I wouldn’t call Goot a charismatic performer. He was wearing an Andrew McMahon t-shirt, one of the best piano players in the scene in my opinion, and he just couldn’t match the energy. He never strayed from behind the piano and his backing band wasn’t much help.
It probably didn’t help that the crowd was horrible, probably the worst I’ve seen in all of my years of going to shows. It consisted mostly of high school kids, probably there to support their friends who opened, trying to look cool, and playing on their phones for the majority of the show. The girls in front looked dead-eyed and uninterested. Why would you stand in the front row at a concert of a band you’re clearly not interested in seeing?
But, I tried not to let that get to me as I enjoyed a good set. Although Goot might not have been energetic, he still sounded pitch perfect, and that’s all I need to enjoy a show.