Tennis put #RelationshipGoals on full display at Fonda Theatre

Denver indie pop act Tennis is the duo of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore (though they tour live with a full band). They’ve been a couple for a decade, and for the numerous couples that showed up at the Fonda Theatre on Thursday night, they put faces to the hashtag #RelationshipGoals.

Who wouldn’t want to be in a band with their significant other? I mean, the thought of being around someone you love all the time could be difficult, not getting the separation that a relationship sometimes needs. But watching Moore sing these enchanting love songs to Riley — who rocked out on guitar — showcased the best possibility that could come from it.

The show was in support of their excellent album from this year Yours Conditionally. The album has spurned a couple of songs that could serve as feminist anthems, like “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar”, which got a loud reaction during their gig. It’s probably the band’s most complete work to date, and a near sell-out at the Fonda was well warranted.

Moore looked stunning in a red top with black and white striped pants, Riley in a sparkly fun silver top. They look — and sound — out of the ’70s, particularly thanks to Moore’s nostalgic sounding vocals.

I first saw Tennis at my very first music festival, Outside Lands in SF in 2012. I had won tickets to the festival a few days before and last-minute did some research with a Spotify playlist, discovering Tennis through their recent hit at the time “Origins”. I immediately fell in love with their sound. “I’m Callin'” from 2014’s Ritual in Repeat is another favorite of mine, and its catchy hook had the crowd moving and singing along.

One of my favorite things of the night were the two girls dancing their hearts out immediately to my left. Another girl who had come to the show by herself came up to them and asked if she could join them, and it was just this ultra fun dance circle that enhanced the show. Tennis have always wowed me at festivals in their ability to get crowds maybe unfamiliar with them to respond to their music, for the first time I was seeing it from a crowd who had specifically gathered for one of their shows.

“Origins” eventually got played and got a big response, and a three-song encore capped by “Island Music” sent the crowd home happy. It was an enjoyable show, even if it made me shockingly aware of how hopelessly single in LA I currently am. But Tennis did a mesmerizing job at providing those hard-to-achieve relationship goals under bright lights. My advice: Bring a date when you go see them.

Photos by Tim Aarons