Courtship bounces through Oakland, offering fun energy, lively set

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The band Courtship opened for Passion Pit on Monday at the Fox Theater, but its musicians brought their own passion with them. Emerging in matching orange jumpsuits, the group of four had the crowd dancing to its tunes within the first chorus.

A good opener brings the hype to the show, getting the crowd even more excited than it already was about the headliner. Courtship did all this and more, commanding the crowd to jump around, enthralling both the audience members who knew them well enough to sing along and those who had never heard the band before.

The band’s aura was infectious. All four musicians did their part in crafting an entertaining set, but it was the two frontmen and vocalists, guitarist Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordon on keyboard, who truly brought the energy to the band’s performance. Jumping, kicking, yelling and asking the audience to do the same, these two spirited men gave the audience — mostly unfamiliar with their discography — a bouncy, energetic experience.

Though all of Courtship’s songs have a lively beat, the highlight of its show was prefaced by Hirsch yelling, “You guys have to sing this song with us! I promise you know the words!” This is not the conventional banter one would expect to hear from an opener, so the audience was wary until the band started up the opening chords of “Hey Ya!” by Outkast, at which point the crowd screamed along to the group’s upbeat rendition.

Though most of the audience members came for Passion Pit, they were excited and responsive to Courtship’s energy and were willing to dance along to the songs they didn’t necessarily come to hear. Openers have an undeniably hard job, attempting to convince an unfamiliar audience within roughly eight songs to care about their music, with the first song’s initial impression being vital to keeping the audience entertained. Courtship had no problem in this regard, with the beat of the drum and the band’s enthusiasm making it difficult to dislike them or tune out.

Courtship made an unfamiliar crowd respond and react because onlookers could tell that the band loved what it was doing. The joy emanating from Courtship was contagious, so it wasn’t hard for the audience to return that same spark. Courtship had a hard task, but the group performed with an enthusiasm and elegance that made its listeners become even more excited for the main act. Not only was Courtship an entertaining act, but it no doubt gained many more fans from its charismatic performance.

Contact Sydney Rodosevich at [email protected].