The Irish indie rock band brought its festival-sized show to New Orleans last week.

two door cinema show photo
Two Door Cinema Show

(This review is the first for new contributor Lexie Kirkwood.)

Two Door Cinema Club has put on good shows for just over a decade, but the band’s 2016 Gameshow finally unlocked what the band was missing. One wouldn’t guess from singer Alex Trimble’s performance that the band is on its tenth year performing. He captivated and energized the rowdy crowd packed into the Joy Theater last Monday night.

Trimble set himself apart visually from his two bandmates and the backup musicians when he wore a long sleeved, velvet shirt that evoked an air of ‘80s pop and dove into each song with emotion and a physical expressiveness that took him all around the stage. Throughout, the band performed with an urgency and rawness usually absent on their recorded tracks, and the audience loved it.

When Two Door Cinema Club finally got to Gameshow six songs in, it showed something it hadn’t before—range. “Lavender followed “Bad Decisions,” and these two songs slowed down the pace, letting the band show that there is more to it than non-stop, upbeat tunes. During “Bad Decisions,” Trimble pulled the mic stand close to him and showed off his impressive falsetto, and he showed emotions and intimacy uncommon in pop bands. His falsetto proved surprising when, between songs, he addressed the crowd in his charming, low voice and Irish accent.

Just as the band revitalized itself with a new album and new vulnerability, it added a stunning light show that seemed more characteristic of a DJ set than an indie rock band. The entire stage was smoky, with a fog machine working overtime, and the five panels behind the band lit up to displaying graphics that seemed like they belonged in the Sahara Tent at Coachella but added the perfect dimension to Two Door’s set.

The intensity of the light show made the choice to turn it all off later for the start of “Sun” made it all the more dramatic. Trimble stood center stage, only illuminated by a single spotlight and sang slowly over the screams of the girls in the front row. The moment added a dramatic note that made Two Door seem bigger and grander than it had on previous tours.

The light show might be attributed to the band’s last few months playing much larger venues and festivals in Europe, where a light show would engage a crowd that couldn’t see the band as well. For Two Door, the addition also makes shows in smaller venues feel like events.