The indie pop married duo brought their dreamy sound to D.C. for two nights.
Drifting on stage adorned in a flowy sparkly sheer dress and her snakeskin boots, Alaina Moore graced the 9:30 Club working her charm on the keyboard and vocals. Swiftly, Patrick Riley and the live band joined along, as the audience cheered in anticipation for the husband and wife indie-pop duo, Tennis. Shining in vivid, dreamy neon lights, Moore and Riley rocked the 9:30 Club stage all night long on March 30 for their second night performing at the venue.
Upon releasing their fourth album, “Pollen,” the duo sold out two nights at the 9:30 Club, one of their “favorite venues” as Moore said to the crowd. As a coincidental marker of selling out the venue for their Pollen tour, Moore claimed she was “celebrating by having an allergy attack.” Amidst the heavily pollenated cherry blossom season in the District, Moore powered through playing hits off the latest, flowery album including “One Night with The Valet” and “Forbidden Doors.”
Opening for Tennis was solo folk act, Kate Bollinger, originally from Charlottesville, Virginia. With peaceful and lightly reflective tracks like “Who Am I But Someone” and her cover of “J’aime les filles,” Bollinger served as a sweet and perfectly curated introduction for Tennis. Radiating the same love for retro sound, with Tennis displaying their love of ’80s synth and Bollinger taking the ’70s folk route, the soft spoken singer-songwriter set the mood for the night.
Moore and Riley’s time on stage was the gift that just kept giving, with the live staging of their groovy tracks authentically capturing the essence of their imaginative sound. A light show on the projected screen behind them as they played “Matrimony,” Moore’s lyrical dedication to her marriage to Riley. As Moore sang to Riley and Riley riffed on his guitar, their love song to one another came alive. The duo moved into their popular track, “Diamond Rings” with ease, with Ryan Tollock’s work on the bass in full display. Hypnotizing circular rings projected behind them as they played dancy tracks like “No Exit” and “How to Forgive,” inviting the audience into the heart of their music.
Towards the end of the show, Moore reserved time to have the audience ask her and Riley questions, adopting a playful banter with the crowd. They shared their favorite tracks they have written including Moore’s favorite “Bad Girls,” and Riley’s favorite “Ten Minutes, Ten Years,” a track in honor of their 10-year anniversary.
The duo then promptly performed “Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight,” after reassuring an audience member they would definitely hear their favorite track. Ending on a high note, the pair came back for an encore, performing, “I’ll Haunt You,” as hues of orange bounced off of Moore’s iconic curls and violet landed on Riley’s flowy locks. As the night came to a close and the merch line piled up, the atmosphere was spirited and more than satisfied with the night.
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