Monday, January 17, 2011

NAMM 2011 coverage: more from Thursday

My report originally appeared on and can be viewed on the paper's Soundcheck blog.

One thing is usually a sure bet at NAMM: that Taylor Guitars will secure a highly impressive performance roster for its upstairs Anaheim Convention Center suite (a past memorable appearance by Taylor Swift immediately comes to mind).

Frequently boasting lush, Beach Boys-styled harmonies, Plain White T’s was a perfect fit for the Taylor acoustic stage on Thursday afternoon. All five members of the Chicago punk-pop band were lined up on stools in front of the stage. The half-hour set opened with romantic ballad “1, 2, 3, 4” and included such other alternative and pop radio hits as the ebullient “Our Time Now” and sarcastic “Hate (I Really Don’t Like You).”

On the latter, lead guitarist/singer Tim Lopez jokingly polled the medium-sized audience to see if there were any songwriters present and offered some advice: “Try to not to write outside your vocal range like [frontman Tom Higgenson] did.” The quintet excelled on newer selections from winsome latest effort “Wonders of the Younger,” released last month. Lopez handled lead vocals on the jaunty power pop-leaning “Rhythm of Love,” while current single “Boomerang” revisited mid-60s Beatles territory with even more pristine harmonies. “Hey There Delilah,” the tender No. 1 hit from 2007, originally recorded in stripped down fashion, fit perfectly in this setting too.

The band returns to Anaheim to play House of Blues on Feb. 7 with Parachute.   
Plain White T's photo by Robert Kinsler 

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