By Justin Lyons
Whether it was the frigid temp in Atlanta or the numbness of the New Orleans’ Saints heartbreaking loss, it took Givers some time to warm up to the Masquerade crowd. The Louisiana-based five-piece showed off plenty of potential with shared harmonies by lead vocalists Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson and thundering percussion. However, the abbreviated set length only hinted at Givers’ pop sensibilities and stage presence.
Early on, Givers lacked the energy the band’s much lauded live performance had earned in 2011. Despite the overall lethargy, Lamson’s raspy vocals shone and sounded even more enthralling than on the band’s debut album In Light. The band finally hit their stride with the inescapable “Ceiling of Plankton,” but unfortunately it was almost too late to get the crowd fully engaged. With only one album worth of material on deck, by the time the encore hit fans looked perplexed the band was wrapping up so soon. After a short break, Givers sounded particularly accomplished in covering Talking Heads’ new wave classic “This Is Where I Want To Be.”
“Up Up Up” closed the night in raucous fashion with Lamson and Guarisco helping out beating side drums and one could finally see why Givers had made so much noise on the 2011 festival circuit. The bright and sun-ready cut mixed with a calypso/Afro pop influence would most certainly shine mid afternoon at southern festivals such as Hangout or Music Midtown. The most puzzling decision was album favorite and Amazon commercial licensed “Words” was left off the set list, which could have been a show closing winner with the additional percussion in the mix. Givers have plenty of talent to breakthrough further than their recent success suggests, but their short live set left a lot to be desired.