Strolling down the cold streets of Philadelphia to the First Unitarian Church, I walked past the huddled and shivering masses, down the winding, stone stairway into the small, 70’s wood plated hallway. I state my name, I get a neon orange wristband, and start scurrying to the front to catch the opening act and fellow tour mates, Delicate Steve. A thrashing, lo-fi, and spaced out experience, the dimly lit room added to the experience as the guitarist flailed his guitar over his shoulder, the drummer jumped and danced as he pounded away, and the rhythm guitarist bobbed his head into a hurried hurricane motion, with his jew-fro flying all over the place. A welcomed introduction, the venue immediately began to feel alive as even by the end of this first act, moshing had begun mildly and people were crowd surfing.
Yet with Fang Island’s set up and opening speech, it was clear that the show had only just begun. With a lecture that literally reminded me of seeing the Black Kids, they began shouting into the microphone. Cursing and yelling, he moaned and crooned about the lack of happiness and fun within bands now-adays, that too many people take themselves all too seriously and it was killing live shows as we know it. Well to perfectly contrast this then, as soon as his speech was over, with a crash of percussions and math-like precession. The ground was littered with guitar pedals as feet fiddled and pedal lights blinked on and off, members dancing and jumping all around as they literally, mid way through songs, would encourage listeners to give them high-fives, fist pumps, ect. Always in an attack stance, they crashed through there relatively quick set yet with each song, they truly let the listener remember every moment as each song went far further than it was originally recorded. A cathartic experience, it was a emotional flow that would one moment have listeners pounding into each other yet by the next, would have viewers completely silent, reflecting without a word to others around them.
So as I stepped back up the narrow staircase and walked over the Schuylkill, staring at the lights in the distance, I knew that this had to be one of the best shows at the church: a truly religious experience that left me both breathless and wanting more. Good thing too: I feel partially deaf even now. Anyways go out and see them when they’re in town and if you haven’t heard of ‘em, for God’s sake look them up. With former members of Daughters and a style with so many influences, its hard to even pin point who their role models are, I’d say we have a Post-modern band ready to tackle the mundane chores of our daily lives. Too deep to end on? Let me put it simply: the show rocked.
- Cliff Drake