FRENSHIP at the Independent, by Emily Gadd
FRENSHIP (photo: Emily Gadd)

On May 8 FRENSHIP played at the Independent for their first-ever headlining tour.

New York artist Yoke Lore kicked off the night with his feel-good folksy music. Yoke Lore is headed by former Walk the Moon member Adrian Galvin. Highlights of his set included “Tom Robbins,” a song about the novelist of the same name, a cover of Savage Garden’s “Truly, Madly, Deeply,” and an unreleased song that he says he’s currently keeping for live audiences only.

FRENSHIP duo James Sunderland and Brett Hite put on a very energetic performance. The Independent has a smaller stage, but they made the most of it with lots of synchronized dance moves and drumming. I found this especially impressive after Hite said that he was sick, and spent the day before the show looking for cold medicine.

FRENSHIP’s songs are usually classified as electronic pop, so I expected that to be a very present in their live performance. Instead, they were backed by a live band, and we were treated to new versions of older songs like “Run Wild” and “Capsize” the 2016 radio hit that catapulted them to mainstream fame.

The show sold out weeks ago, and the room was so packed it was hard to move. Sunderland told the crowd that San Francisco is one of his favorite places to play — partially because of how fast their shows sell out, but also because of the enthusiasm and energy of the crowd.

When I talked to Sunderland in April, he told me that the band has lots of new music in store and that they’ve kept their live shows in mind when they write new songs. That was very apparent in their performances of their recently released songs like “Mi Amore” and “GOODMORNING, Goodbye.”

The show was a blast, and I’m very excited to see what FRENSHIP does next.