Geographer’s performance at SOhO on Friday night was telling. Not only did the group produce a sound so big that it felt like a revelation, frontman Mike Deni also worked extra-hard to engage the audience, asking for participation by way of hand clapping and gang vocals.

“Being the best live band we can be is our job now,” Deni remarked during our conversation a few weeks ago. “It’s something we’ll always have to work on. It’ll never be finished”. With that in mind, it’s clear that the trio hailing from the San Francisco Bay work hard at doing things differently.

In between songs, Deni informed the audience of the difference between “seeing” a show and “being at” a show, and urged everyone to do the latter by singing background vocals whilst he and his bandmates riffed on an impressive variety of instruments (including a cello!)

Each of the groups more well-known songs were touched on (namely “Kites” and “Life of Crime”), but Geographer’s set hardly felt like a platform to showcase their pre-crafted wares. The performance felt wholly cohesive; transitions from song to song were intentional and harmonious, and the harmonies that fans might recognize were given a fresh twist.

If Friday was any indication, Geographer seems to be a very good live band. Not because their music “sounds like the CD,” though. They clearly care about their audience and they keep things interesting. And, perhaps most importantly, they sound like Geographer.


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