By Evan Zigmond
Shopping is an absolutely unforgettable live experience. The trio from London combines up-tempo, driving basslines with catchy vocals and a twangy guitar reminiscent of surf rock. At Great Scott, I had the privilege of standing right in front, and witnessing Shopping’s vivacious performance. As soon as they took the stage, the group launched into their first tune, a speedy romp which soon had the small venue dancing like their lives depended on it. Drummer Andrew Milk focused very heavily on the kick drum, passionately pounding out rhythms. Guitarist Rachel Aggs danced along when she wasn’t playing, smiling and kicking her feet into the air, sans shoes. The bassist, a very talented Rachel Easter, laid down a series of impressive grooves, only adding to the urge to dance.
The lyrics were simple but extremely effective, either sung or spoken over and over again by Aggs or Milk. Taken altogether, the repeated lyrical themes, with the emphasis on the lower frequencies with the bass and the kick drum, created a musical heartbeat in the venue, a heartbeat that both the band and the audience were aware of. At times, it felt like the floor was shaking with a deep, raw, primal force that drove the audience mad. I felt as if I was becoming one with my surroundings, the band, and the audience. The music pounded into my brain and my soul. The outside world ceased to be, drowning in the all-encompassing, ubiquitous, inescapable beat. The beat was all that was. It was nirvana. The whole set list continued with this rhythmic unity, plastering a stupid grin on my face.
At one point, Rachel Aggs took a tambourine, walked to the edge of the stage mid-song, and handed it to me. I manhandled that tambourine with gleeful urgency. At the end of the tune, I returned the tambourine, my cells awash in dopamine. By the end of the set, I was completely carefree, and I left the venue feeling refreshed. Shopping used the small venue to their advantage, radiating emotion for the duration of their set. I am happy to say that I am now firmly a fan of the band, and I strongly advise seeing them live to experience a true oneness with one’s surroundings.