My first exposure to Travis didn't come until 2001. It was then that I heard the enchanting song "Sing" off their third album The Invisible Band. Ever since, I've had a major soft spot for the four-piece band's unapologetically sentimental and melodramatic melodies. It's always struck me as strange that they don't have the same level of notoriety as say, Coldplay. Travis frontman Francis Healy trumps Coldplay's Chris Martin anyday.
The Scottish rockers, currently touring America in support of their album Ode to J. Smith, took the stage at Showbox last night for a 90 minute set that included a wealth of material from their decade-plus music career. Early in the set Travis asked the crowd to move back and opted to leave the stage and play in the middle of the venue's floor. People politely gave the guys space to play. (Travis fans aren't exactly your most wild breed.)
They're an absolute pleasure to see perform live. Healy's got a falsetto that puts Justin Timberlake to shame. The guys charged through hits like "Closer" and "All I Want To Do Is Rock." The band also lived up to their reputation for performing odd covers by opting for Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," which Healy introduced in mock seriousness as a "love song." The evening's highlights came during the encore when they performed a stripped down version of the schmaltzy "Flowers in the Window" followed by the brooding "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?"
Why doesn't the Bumbershoot lineup include these guys? They've got Katy Perry, but no Travis? These guys do a far more entertaining rendition of "I Kissed a Girl" than she does. Check it.