By Andy Turner, Special to   Published Nov 14, 2014 at 11:36 AM

With a giant replica of their new album’s cover above them on the stage, The New Pornographers delivered a delirious set of extra-large pop during Thursday’s Pabst Theater performance.

But while some artists might direct that bigness to hair, lights, clothing changes, dance numbers and anything but the music, The New Pornographers saved it for their flab-free but massive sound (except for that big ass album cover, of course), which was heavy on thrills and loads of fun.

The now-veteran Canadian band, touring to support the highly touted "Brill Bruisers," featured its three most famous players (A.C. Newman, Neko Case and Dan Bejar) and played songs from across its catalog during the double-encore show – capped by a, uh, frothy take on "The Slow Descent into Alcoholism" from their 2000 debut album "Mass Romantic."

"Brill Bruisers" began the show, and its infectious "bo-bah’s" might have attendees chanting the refrain randomly – with or without the song playing – at a stoplight years from now. The throbbing, butt-shaker "Dancehall Domine" was a definite standout, one worthy of using the word infectious in back-to-back sentences. Bejar’s slow-building "War on the East Coast" – featuring harmonica from Newman – "Another Drug Deal of the Heart" and "Myriad Harbour" also delighted in the early-going.

Case, who was the recipient of "Neko!" cries throughout the night, shined on an emphatic take of "The Laws Have Changed." "Crash Years" showcased nice guitar interplay between Newman and guitarist Todd Fancey, and keyboardist Kathryn Calder took the vocal lead on the tender "Adventures in Solitude."

Bejar offered a good transition with the midtempo "Jackie," which implores listeners to "visualize success," while proclaiming that "the United States used to be a lot of fun." "Backstairs" was both moody and a workout.

Featuring Case, the classic "Mass Romantic" wildly concluded regulation before the band came back on stage. Band members offered limited chatter between songs, but before the first encore, Newman quipped that the Pabst looked like a spaceship – "from the 1880s," added Case. Charged takes on "Testament to Youth in Verse" and "Sing Me Spanish Techno" further enthralled the large crowd and served as proof that The New Pornographers are anything but dull and pretentious, accusations often hurled at indie rock.

Opener Pains of Being Pure at Heart offered a much less ambitious approach but still pleased with feedback-fueled explorations of angst in the pants. Their set featured several songs from the band’s latest "Days of Abandon," including "Coral and Gold," Eurydice" and "Life After Life." Kip Berman no doubt scored points for the New York City quintet by sharing a story of holding his bandmates hostage in their tour van while racing to get their destination so he could see the Packers-Bears game.