|Brian Aubert and Nikki Monninger|
Brian Aubert began playing guitar on a cheap acoustic when he was a seven-year-old in Topanga, California. When he was 18 years old, he met Nikki Monninger on a flight from Los Angeles to London; Aubert reportedly noticed Monninger sitting across the aisle from him stealing alcohol from the drink cart by distracting the flight attendant. In 2000, back in Silver Lake, California, they started Silversun Pickups as an alternative rock band. The band is currently composed of vocalist/guitarist Aubert, bassist Monninger, keyboardist Joe Lester and drummer Christopher Guanlao. Silversun Pickups' fourth and most recent album, Better Nature, was released in 2015.
One minute into "Panic Switch," at Terminal 5 tonight, Aubert interrupted the song and explained to the audience, We’re stopping this right now. My pedal is broken, and we’re not playing this half-assed for you." A few seconds later, the quartet regrouped and roared back into the song from the beginning. At another point, he shared lightheartedly with the audience some of his recent mishaps; he was suffering the effects of a flu and also was playing guitar with his broken arm in a cast. Despite these obstacles, Silversun Pickups gave pop melodies a booming sonic force with heavily cranked guitar work and propulsive rhythms. The band has matured, to where the distorted, fuzzy guitar textures ironically sounded remarkably crisp and slick. Aubert's vocals matched the music's soft-to-loud peaks, often ascending from a soft delivery to a snarl and ultimately to a shout. Monninger sang a bit too, but usually concentrating on loading the bottom drive while jumping to the rhythms. Silversun Pickups still had a raw edge, but honed in on a more measured and spit-shined dynamic that will allow the band's appeal to widen to a larger audience.
Visit the Silversun Pickups at www.silversunpickups.com.