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From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups Rock Tulsa’s Historic Venue

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The commute from OKC to Tulsa typically takes about an hour and a half, providing the perfect window to indulge in my favorite Silversun Pickups album, Swoon, and gear up for their concert that evening. Stepping into Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this past Monday night, I was immediately enveloped in a wave of nostalgia. Silversun Pickups had been the soundtrack to my high school junior year summer, evoking vivid memories. Have you ever had that experience where a song transports you back in time? That’s the power of SSPU’s music for me – it opened the door to alternative/indie rock.

From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.
From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

Cain’s Ballroom, steeped in history as Oklahoma’s oldest music venue, built in 1924, celebrated its centennial anniversary this past January. Silversun Pickups have a storied history of touring in Oklahoma, dating back to their inaugural stop in the state in 2006 at Opolis, in Norman. Since then, they’ve made several return visits, including tours in 2007, 2017, and their latest in 2022, each time fostering a dedicated fanbase eagerly awaiting their return.

From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.
From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.
From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

The excitement for the show had been palpable all week, particularly after the band released their latest music video for “We Won’t Come Out”, a track from their 2022 album Physical Thrills. Fans were buzzing with anticipation, eager to hear both cherished classics like “It’s Nice to Know You Work Alone” from their 2009 album Swoon and fresh releases brought to life onstage.

From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.
From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups bring their alternative rock prowess to the historic Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

When Silversun Pickups finally emerged under the glowing stage lights, the venue erupted with cheers and applause. They kicked off their set with the haunting melody of “Growing Old is Getting Old”, immediately setting the tone and paying homage to the venue’s rich history. Lead singer and guitarist, Brian Aubert took a moment to engage with the crowd, bellowing, “How are you doing Tulsa, we are Silversun Pickups!” The crowd roared in response, and Brian continued, “I hear Cain’s Ballroom just turned 100 years old, how incredible!” The crowd erupted with excitement, acknowledging the venue’s milestone anniversary. Nikki Monninger, the band’s infamous bassist, flashed an eye-catching red dress and silver heels that caught the stage lights just right.

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Silversun Pickups formed in the early 2000s. The band’s name was inspired by Silversun, a liquor store opposite the Silverlake Lounge. A friend of the band would often make late-night visits to buy liquor, dubbing it a “Silversun pickup“. Their debut album, Pikul, released in 2005, marked the beginning of their ascent to popularity. Since then, they’ve released six studio albums, each showcasing their distinctive fusion of alternative rock and dream pop – shoegaze. Their live performances are legendary, characterized by their captivating stage presence and infectious energy, leaving an impression on their audiences. Over the years, they’ve refined their craft through relentless touring, accumulating 23 years of live performances since their inception in 2001.

Beyond their music, Silversun Pickups’ dedication to their craft and authenticity has inspired countless fans and musicians alike. From humble beginnings in Los Angeles to sold-out shows nationwide, they’ve stayed true to themselves, earning widespread admiration and respect. With each album release and live performance, they continue to challenge norms, solidifying their status as one of the most influential bands of their era and genre.As the night drew to a close and the echoes of “Lazy Eye” filled the room, fans erupted in a frenzy of cheers and applause, the perfect culmination of an unforgettable evening.

Leaving Cain’s Ballroom, their music still resonating in my ears, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the chance to witness such a momentous occasion. Silversun Pickups had once again proven why they’re a cherished fixture in the music industry. With their unwavering passion for music and dedication to their fans, there’s no doubt they’ll continue leaving an indelible mark on the music scene for even more years to come.

SETLIST

Growing Old is Getting Old
Sticks and Stones
Well Thought Out Twinkles
It Doesn’t Matter Why
Panic Switch
Scared Together
The Royal We
Alone on a Hill
Kissing Families
Don’t Know Yet
Mean Spirits
Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)
Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)
Substitution
Nightlight

ENCORE

Three Seed
Cannibal
Empty Nest
Lazy Eye

Show Date: 04.22.24 // Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom // From LA to OK: Silversun Pickups Rock Tulsa’s Historic Venue
Photos & words by Haleigh Harwell

Haleigh Harwell
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About author
Hi! I'm a live music and lifestyle photographer from Oklahoma City. I'm so happy to be here, contributing to Good Guys Press. Cheers!
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