Kris Orlowski was just wrapping up his opening set last night at the Crocodile when he called Faye O’Rourke, of headlining Dublin-based band Little Green Cars, to the stage with the four other members of his band. “We just wanted to wish you a happy birthday,” said Orlowski, who then led both groups in a combined effort of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Little Green Cars demonstrated their harmonizing talents by barely breaking a sweat when the two groups joined forces, which got the crowd reminiscing in simpler times.
When the clock struck ten and Little Green Cars sauntered on stage again for their set, Stevie Appleby, lead vocals and guitar, could only manage a murmur of “Wow, there’s like a lot of you here.” The Croc was packed tight as the quintet opened with “Goodbye Monday Blue,” filling the room with deep acoustics and haunting vocals that were borderline hymnal.
Little Green Cars is one of those groups that sound absolutely incredible live, with perfect harmonization and enchanting, mesmerizing energy. The group’s strength is in its vocals as all five members sing and generate a vulnerable, heartstring-pulling feel with each song. After the opening tune, the audience was in a relaxed vibe, maybe even too relaxed, as most audience members just stared at the stage. It wasn’t until the end of the catchy “Little Red Dragon” that the crowd decided to move and dance. Once people loosened up, it was a constant transfer of energy from the stage to the audience.
“The John Wayne,” perhaps Little Green Cars’ best known single, was the last official song of the night, after prompts from the audience. Just as the beginning counts were played, Kris Orlowski and band poured back onto the stage, and picked up odd-end shakers and noisemakers. The energy in the room was bursting when Stevie grabbed the mic and said “Let’s get you guys up here too.” Cue to the packed stage of flailing arms and eager voices.
Everyone thought that the show was after was over after that, but there were more surprises. Before playing “The Consequences of Not Sleeping,” Stevie talked about making the video for the song at 4 a.m. and having his father interrupt it in his underwear. After the story, Stevie and his group unplugged their gear, calmly walked off the stage into the audience, and continued to play acoustic. Someone turned off the overhead fan which created a moment of silence in the noisy venue and imbued a sense of stillness, in perfect union with the band’s hushed tones.