WASHINGTON, DC: The Sounds perform at the 9:30 Club. April 12, 2014. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

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Though the crowd was unsurprisingly sparse when doors opened at 5 p.m. for the Sounds‘ early show at the 9:30 Club last Saturday, by the time the Swedish pop-rockers hit the stage, the venue appeared to be filled to capacity. Over the course of its 16-year, five-album history, the band has built quite a following in the U.S. (much of it surely built up during the Sounds’ tour with No Doubt a few years ago). On the basis of the band’s live show, that following is well-deserved: Maja Ivarsson is a high-kicking, crowd-pleasing frontwoman brimming with attitude and a charisma that makes her hard to look away from, and she and her band have an irrepressible energy that lend their simple, catchy pop tunes an appeal that’s just not replicable on a record.

Check out the full slideshow (33 photos) for more photos, including pics of openers Blondfire and Ghost Beach.