best live bands

THE STRUTS SHIMMY THROUGH PHILLY
October 26, 2015 8:52 am

English glam rock band The Struts played a sold-out show at The Foundry in Philly this past Saturday night.

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Photo by Kenzie Gasper

Opening for them were The Karma Killers, a punk rock band from New Jersey that’s been garnering attention with the release of their debut EP Strange Therapy.  Their sound isn’t particularly my style, but I really see a lot of promise and I definitely think they have the chops to become a huge name.  With lyrics like “It was a cruel summer, one way or another/ I miss my Sharona, crimson and clover,” it’s obvious The Karma Killers are influenced by the iconic musicians that preceded them.

Right before The Struts were to take the stage, the crowded room began to murmur in excitement.  “I love him,” the girl standing next to me said (in reference to front man Luke Spiller.)  Finally, after much anticipation, the doors opened and The Struts sauntered out to deafening whistles and cheers.  The foursome was decked out in head to toe sequins, velvet and silk, paying homage to the glam rock bands of the 1970s.  Spiller, who bears a striking resemblance to Freddie Mercury, greeted the audience in an almost incomprehensible English accent before going into rousing renditions of their popular songs “Could Have Been Me” and “Kiss This” (my personal favorite!)

This was honestly one of the most entertaining shows I’ve ever seen, due to the fact that the band heavily interacted with the crowd and kept us all on our toes.  At one point during the show, Spiller instructed everyone to crouch down for a few moments, and then rise up again as the music builds.  The Struts are one of those rare bands that know how to put on a hell of a show, in large part due to Spiller’s stage presence, which has been compared to the likes of Mick Jagger and David Bowie.

Though their set was short (they only played about seven or eight songs), the band came out for an encore after hearing the audience chant “One more song!  One more song!”

Before making their final exit, Spiller thanked everyone for coming and joined his bandmates for a final bow.

The Struts return to Philly’s Theatre of the Living Arts on December 17th, so be sure to grab your tickets before they’re gone.  I’ll definitely be there cheering them on.

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Photo by Kenzie Gasper

DEAD MEAT AND ZECHARIAH FUNKHOUSER @ BROOKLYN’S NEW VENUE
September 14, 2015 1:01 pm

Dead Meat is a self-described “music haberdashery” who recently had revealed their debut showcase at Bushwick’s new venue “Bushwick Public House” (a block away from The Palisades). The carefully curated lineup consisted of Tingles, Cigarettes After Sex, Pet Gracie and headliner Zechariah Funkhouser. Bushwick Public House is a cafe lounge upstairs and a spacious, indie, DIY heaven downstairs. The space is reminiscent of your best friend’s basement in high school, except with a leveled off stage area and a bar.

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The most particular feature of the show was the striking merchandise received on entry; limited edition Dead Meat baseball cards designed by Drew Albinson. The eye-catching cards revealed the shows line-up, a three song download of headliner Zechariah Funkhouser, and a delightfully exotic stick of gum. The cards reflected the aesthetic of “Dead Meat”  – sadcore with a nostalgic twist.

Opening act Tingles were a crowd favorite. Their high-energy indie pop mashed with punk captivated the audience guided by the raw talent of Ryan Clark’s powerful drum rhythms. Cigarettes After Sex followed with a dreamy shoegaze set, the highlight being the perfect soundscape in “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby.” Local Brooklyn group Pet Gracie bordered on experimental noise while their songs remained grounded by a talented rhythm section. Next up was Zechariah Funkhouser, playing his NYC debut. Funkhouser was dynamic and charismatic throughout his swoon worthy set. Definitely an act to watch out for.

Written by Alessandra Licul 

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