New Orleans’ Prom Date began in the summer of 2007 as a piano-centric pop-rock band. The band’s sound evolved through the years, moving to the 1980s-inspired, electronic keyboard-based snyth-pop the group now specializes in.
Following the August release of “Portraits,” Prom Date’s full-length album debut, the group has been touring the country and playing throughout Louisiana.
Prom Date performs Saturday at Gasa Gasa in New Orleans, after stopping Thursday in Lafayette and Friday in Baton Rouge. It’s a Louisiana prelude to a 10-date Western tour including the group’s debuts in San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas.
The tour out West follows recent dates in Florida and Kansas.
“There weren’t always a ton of people there, but people who were there gave us really wonderful feedback,” singer and keyboardist David Fuller said this week.
“I love our music,” Fuller said of the band’s expanding ambition. “I want other people to like it, too. If we go to more places, we’ll make more friends.”
The original Prom Date formed while singer-keyboardist Brett Burke was a Tulane University student and Fuller and bassist Nick Boudreau were LSU students. The band found its musical direction when it discovered synthesizers in 2010.
The group’s inspirations include ’80s and ’90s synth-pop groups Erasure, New Order and Human League. Prom Date gradually became a fine-tuned synth-pop collective featuring male and female vocals.
The group’s three singers — Christine Peirce, Fuller and Burke — grew up singing in church choirs. While singing well is not a requirement in rock and pop music, Fuller said, “it’s really fun to sing well together.”
Both Peirce, who’s also a member of Lafayette’s Rareluth, and Burke majored in music at college. Fuller majored in German but took composition and music theory courses and piano lessons.
“You don’t have to have academic knowledge of music, but that helps, too,” Fuller said. “When we’re communicating amongst ourselves, we have a vocabulary in common.”
Boudreau didn’t study music formally, but his work as station manager at LSU’s KLSU-FM served as a musical education.
“While we were in college, we shared music constantly, especially Nick,” Fuller said. “He was always hearing exciting new music.
“Through the years we developed a shared passion for electronically based music. In the beginning, we didn’t have the knowledge or the equipment to pull electronic music off. We grew into making the music we always wanted to make.”
The atmosphere around synth-pop is another reason the often maligned style appeals to Fuller and his band mates.
“It’s the aesthetic, too,” he explained. “Bright colors, celebration, euphoric dance parties. That is the kind of experience we seek to re-create every time we play. The ’80s really got that. They weren’t afraid to be gaudy.”