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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The eclectic and visually oriented Sports is set to make its Spokane debut

The Oklahoma pop outfit Sports will perform at Lucky You Lounge in Spokane on Friday night.  (Courtesy photo )
The Oklahoma pop outfit Sports will perform at Lucky You Lounge in Spokane on Friday night. (Courtesy photo )
By Ed Condran For The Spokesman-Review

Humor is a significant part of the equation for the band Sports. The irony is that no member of Sports is particularly athletic. The members of the band were being funny but the joke was initially on the dream pop band from Norman, Oklahoma.

“After we came up with the name we realized that it was going to be a SEO nightmare,” vocalist Cale Chronister said by phone from Sacramento. “But it all worked out. Fans know who we are now and Sports is the greatest name ever.”

Well, that’s debatable, but Sports does craft breezy eclectic pop-rock. Sports, which will perform Friday at Lucky You Lounge, is old school since the band loves to jump genres.

“It’s all in play,” Chronister said. “Some songs are groovy and some songs rock hard and some are more pop. We love all types of music. It’s more fun that way.”

Sports, which also includes guitarist Christian Theriot and his bassist brother Jacob Theriot, are obviously influenced by adventurous and atmospheric alt-rock acts MGMT and Tame Impala.

“We’re definitely fans of both,” Chronister said. “It’s amazing how huge Tame Impala is. There definitely is a group of fans who love this style of music.”

But the group Sports is perhaps most reminiscent of also hails from Oklahoma, which is the Flaming Lips. Aside from taking sonic chances, Sports also is visual like the Lips.

“I’m a big fan of the Flaming Lips music,” Chronister said. “I love their “Embryonic” and “Yoshimi (Battles the Pink Robots)” albums. I’ve never seen the Flaming Lips live but their live shows look like the most amazing things ever and there are the Flaming Lips videos, which are so cool.”

Sports’ videos, which often poke fun at well, sports, are amusing and the production values are surprisingly high for an indie rock band.

“We have a little help with the visual side, which is important to us,” Chronister said. “We have friends who are very good at graphic design and there are a number of talented people that work on our music videos. Visuals are something we really focus on. It’s been that way since we formed (in 2013). Our videos have been so instrumental in getting the word out for us. The videos have paid off for us due to social media. It’s the perfect way to get notice on Instagram. We try to go all out with the videos.”

Sports live shows are full of energy. “We engage the audience and just try to have a good time,” Chronister said. “It’s important to connect with an audience but I think it helps that our songs are so varied. I believe that ears get tired after hearing the same type of song over and over. If you play the same style of music after an hour, you just want to hear something else. I think it helps that we’re all over the place in terms of the style of music you hear at our shows.”

Don’t be surprised if Sports tosses in some choice covers at the Lucky You Lounge show. “We have a short list of songs we would like to do like “Cool” by Gwen Stefani and The White Stripes “We’re Going to be Friends.”

It’s all about music for Sports but Chronister admits that he does catch the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. “My dad was a basketball coach,” Chronister said. “I don’t know if I should mention the Thunder because Washington must hate the Thunder because the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City.”

Forgive the members of Sports for not knowing that future Thunder star Chet Holmgren played for Gonzaga, and that Spokane is far from Seattle since they’ve never played Eastern Washington. “We’ve never been to Spokane,” Chronister said. “We’ve heard that it’s a really cool place. We’re excited about checking it out.”

Ed Condran is a freelance entertainment writer. He can be reached edwardcondran@gmail.com.

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