On a Thursday night, I ditched my usual, go-to-bed-early, old-lady routine and went to Shank Hall to check out Leagues. It was only the second time I’d been to the tiny venue tucked away on Farwell Avenue. The other time had been for Will Hoge, who, like Leagues, calls Nashville home.
I was a bit disappointed in the turnout at this show, but maybe people are still finding out about Leagues. Their tune Spotlight is getting some airplay these days, but the band is far from mainstream at this point.
While I enjoyed a Spotted Cow (For those of you not from Wisconsin, this is, in fact, a beer and not a farm animal.), Wausau’s Windsor Drive did a great job of getting the show started. I toe-tapped along to their pop rock melodies.
Leagues took the stage decked out in dark denim and facial hair, and rocked it out for more than an hour (Exactly how long they rocked it out, I have to be honest and admit I’m not quite sure. My alarm clock, which I knew was set for 5 a.m., pulled me away after an hour of their set.)
Leagues is rock with a bit of soulful, bluesy country and pop thrown in. Their guitar sounds offer up a welcomed ’70s vibe. While no band likes comparisons, it’s impossible not to draw them. Their sound is infused with indie/pop/rocker sounds like those of Black Keys, Imagine Dragons, Arcade Fire, MGMT, OK Go.
I like their single Spotlight, and my other favorites are Mind Games and Magic. I enjoyed Leagues’ performance, although it felt a little lackluster at times, like they were holding back and not throwing their everything onto the stage. I expect a band to offer up their heart and soul, no matter the stage or venue size, and leave me wanting more. I left feeling glad to have seen them but not necessarily hungry for more.