Before 8:30 PM on Thursday July 13, a bevy of barely- and almost-20-somethings lined up along Sunset Boulevard. And it was just a little past 11 PM that Sports, a self-proclaimed band of wizards, graced The Echo stage.
Sports is a trio of native Oklahomans. With his lanky body and wavy, brown hair, singer Cale Chronister is reminiscent of Dazed and Confused’s Randall “Pink” Floyd. However, not to be stuck in the ’70s, the three members have a definite ’80s flair. Brothers Christian (guitar) and Jacob Theriot (bass) flanked Chronister’s side, both wearing yuppie-approved metallic silver jackets that night.
Sports began the night with “Someone You’d Rather Be Dating,” the first song off the band’s latest EP People Can’t Stop Chillin. The crowd encouraged them on with a chorus of “wooos” as the music built up in unison with the lights: blackout, a flurry of colors, then white.
Most of Sport’s energy derived from Chronister as he grooved around the stage. Sometimes Christian danced at more upbeat times, guitar in hand, but the Theriot brothers, particularly Jacob, kept a constant head bop throughout the show. Their mellow vibes were never boring, especially when Chronister took to the crowd with his haunting gaze. And like in the beginning, the saber-like lights matched each tune. Sports followed next with “Manicure,” and red lights flashed as the tune bopped. When the song ended, it was then that Chronister finally addressed the crowd: “Yo, what’s up.” He let out a few quick, high-pitched howls (as he says he does with his dog) and proceeded with the vibing “Feels Like Magic.”
Next came “Strange to Hear” from Naked All the Time, to much adoration. “Ohhhs” sounded from the audience during the first few notes and a handful of arms waved back and forth, appropriate for the slower, moody track. And to keep the crowd on their feet, Sports played straight into “Panama,” kicking off with a hyped-up drumroll.
The night continued with “Driving On By You” and “Dina.” There was a constant chatter among people near the bar, but much of the crowd was entranced: heads up, eyes forward, not too many phones. Toward the end of the set, Sports played a new track, “Crime,” which was met by cheers from the crowd and a lone “rock on” hand signal.
Despite his seemingly too-cool-for-school rockstar demeanor, Chronister was quite charming. He occasionally chatted with the audience. Some people wanted to dance on stage, but Chronister politely kept the crowd under control: “It’s not my stage!”
And while Sports may transcend time constraints, there’s nothing like a crowd favorite to bring out a sea of phones. In true 2017 appreciation, the audience filmed the final song of the night: “You Are The Right One.” Still, people danced and sang. Such appreciation was matched by Chronister. Before beginning the song, he said, “Thank you for being here. We sold it out together.” And a little under an hour later, Sports finished their set.
Someone You’d Rather Be dating
Feels Like Magic
Strange to Hear
Driving On By You
Whatever You Want
Gotta Know Better
You Are The Right One