Local Current Blog

Review and photos: Tennis and Overcoats heat up the Fine Line Music Cafe on a snowy night

Alaina Moore of Tennis. (All photos by Maia Jacobson/MPR)

Despite all the snow yesterday, the Fine Line Music Cafe filled up for two separate duos: husband-and-wife headliners Tennis, and best friends Overcoats in support. The crowd was full of familiar faces from past Tennis and Overcoats shows in Minneapolis; just last March, the same bill played the Triple Rock Social Club. Neither band was touring in support of a new, big release, but both have new music out since the last time they came through town, and the fans were excited.

Overcoats took the stage to enthusiastic cries from the front of the crowd as JJ Mitchell and Hana Elion stood in a long embrace before taking their positions and beginning the show. After their first song, “Smaller Than My Mother,” Elion told the crowd that Minneapolis is their favorite place to play, and she wasn’t just saying that to say it. They eased into their set with favorites off their album, Young, which came out last year. Some early issues with the sound mix were quickly resolved.

During “The Fog,” the duo broke out their signature cool-girl choreography, and during the bridge, Mitchell said, “the future is female,” to the crowd’s delight. While fans were singing along to many of the songs, Overcoats’ latest, “I Don’t Believe In Us,” was very obviously the favorite, complete with its own, brand-new choreography. The pair’s warm friendship, evident in many affectionate little glances, smiles, and hugs, easily spilled out into the audience.

Tennis were up shortly after Overcoats. Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley brought the sun with their ’70s pop, Moore even joking about how unprepared they were for the routine snow. Before beginning “Fields of Blue,” she apologized “for being so sexy tonight.” She had a head cold, she explained, and had taken some steroids to play the show, saying that a side effect of the steroids was extreme sexiness. The house disco ball was brought out for “Needle and a Knife,” a crowd favorite. As a pleasant surprise, Tennis played tracks off their first album, Cape Dory (2011), including “Marathon.” Cape Dory‘s sweetie-pie ’50s pop doesn’t seem to fit with the band’s current ’70s aesthetic, but fans clearly enjoyed hearing some of the songs that haven’t often been played on recent tours.

“I’m Callin'” got the audience moving with its jangly guitar riff and Moore’s steroid-enhanced energy. She pointed to Riley mid-song, saying, “That’s my husband” with a sly smile. Near the end of their set, after fan favorite “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar,” Moore thanked Overcoats for joining the tour. “They are precious treasures,” she said. “I aspire to have a friendship like theirs. Hint hint, girls, I want to be your friend.”

Tennis closed the set with “In The Morning I’ll Be Better,” and the crowd sang backup during the chorus to match the studio track. After a very short minute, the band came back on stage for a three-song encore. “I’m a pastor’s kid homeschooler so I just feel rude,” said Moore. “I walk off stage, hear one clap and I’m like, ‘Alright guys, back to work!'” They played “Diamond Rings” and “Cape Dory,” then closed the night with an intimate version of “Bad Girls.” Moore pointed to her wedding ring and smiled at Riley as she sang the lines, “You know I love a good ceremony, that’s why I chose matrimony.”