CONCERT REVIEW

FOALS BRING THE “LONDON THUNDER” TO PHILLY
December 21, 2015 8:48 am

“Hello Philadelphia, it’s been a while,” Foals’ frontman shouted out to the crowd who was in attendance at the Union Transfer December 19th. “Are you ready to fucking rock?”

And the crowd certainly was.

The last time Foals played a show in the City of Brotherly Love was in 2011 at the TLA and before that, in 2008 at Johnny Brenda’s. It’s baffling to picture the Oxford playing a show at a small bar after the show I watched them play last night.

IMG_7109

Photo by Kenzie Gasper

Philadelphia was their last U.S. date so I knew the show was going to be insane, and after seeing them two years ago in New York City (and waiting all night to meet them — I was a teenager, ok?) I tried to prepare myself for what I was about to ensue, but there was no preparing.

Foals took the stage at about 9 P.M. and opened with “Snake Oil” off their new album What Went Down (an album I’d definitely consider as one of the best of this year) and immediately got the crowd energized. Even some of the security guards were bobbing their heads to this serious jam. Yannis Philippakis, Foal’s frontman had already begun doing his signature moves — which aren’t really moves, just him running back and forth, jumping, and spinning like a madman. To each his own.

If Foals decided to leave the venue, I’m almost certain everyone would be fine with it, as the first song was a show in itself. But they didn’t, they continued with “Olympic Airways” and added in “Balloons,” older songs from Antidotes, their first album. It was at this point I began to feel like a teenager again, wanting to scream at the top of my lungs due to the sheer force this band brought. Thankfully, there were two drunk girls next to me who did enough screaming for all of us!

Halfway through, the band slowed it down with “Spanish Sahara,” which is a long song, but a very beautiful one. As Philippakis shouted “I’m the fury in your head, I’m the fury in your bed, I’m the ghost in the back of your head” into the microphone, I looked around and saw mostly everyone in the crowd, myself included, singing along.

The band ended their set with “Inhaler,” one of their most popular songs, and looking out into the crowd I saw everyone on their feet screaming back at Philippakis. After the band left the stage the entire Union Transfer began chanting so loud that it sounded like I was at a futbol game.

IMG_7127

Photo by Kenzie Gasper

The band came back to play “Mountain At My Gates” and “What Went Down,” and I knew what song was coming next. As a huge Foals fan I almost feel it’s a religious experience to see “Two Steps, Twice” at least once in your life and thats exactly what happened.

The rest of the band started playing as Philippakis was notably absent from the stage, but suddenly a spotlight hit the balcony and there he was. If you aren’t a Foals fan you’d probably be really confused at what he was doing, and if you probably wouldn’t want to be standing underneath him.

In the blink of an eye he jumped from off the balcony and fans caught him. He then crowd surfed back to stage to finish the set.  Foals won NME’s best live band award and it’s obvious why. This band truly puts their heart, blood, and a lot of sweat on to every stage they play. I wouldn’t be surprised if Foals became the biggest band in the world.

The band is hitting up Australia next, and doing a run around Europe, so if you want to catch them, you’ll have to wait a little, but until then check out their new album if you haven’t had the chance!

Peter Broderick – London Concert Review
August 26, 2015 9:00 am

On the evening of August 13th a little oasis was created right in the busy heart of London’s West End.

Inside St. Giles in the Fields Church, the noise of all the cars, commuters, and party-goers are inaudible to the crowd of around 150 people all huddled together as they wait for Peter Broderick to make his appearance. Laid out on the stage were a guitar, a bass, a violin, a piano, four mics, and about half a dozen loop stations. So Peter’s touring with a band? No, he entered the stage alone. Initially he acts as his own roadie: testing the microphones and tuning his violin. Seated right at the front, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to stare at him or whether I’m supposed to pretend he isn’t there at all. At 9:15 sharp, right on schedule, Broderick approached one of the microphones. “I’m sorry to start when so many of you are still in the queue for the toilet but don’t worry. These first few songs are for you as well.” He’s considerate, to say the least.

Peter_Broderick_2

His first song wasn’t one of his own. It’s a cover, but it has Peter Broderick’s style written all over it. He starts on the violin, looping different melodies every four bars. He does the same with his guitar, and within no time the church was echoing with sound. No band needed. The same goes for his own subsequent songs, “Not At Home” and “Colours of the Night.”

Broderick’s whole performance hung in this balance between melancholy and humorous. The songs have a predominantly sad tint to them, yet he didn’t seem to take himself too seriously. He took the liberty to address the audience in various amusing ways, often while he plays. “I had the most ridiculous thought when I was playing that song just now. I think it’s my only song that could be classified as sexy, but it’s impossible to look sexy playing this casio keyboard.” Oh, Peter.

Peter_Broderick_4

There were a few minor technical malfunctions during the show too, but he easily shrugged them off with ease. “Chris has been doing the sound here tonight everybody, and he’s doing a great job.” We all applaud. “But seriously dude, turn the fucking microphone on.” We all laugh. Everything feels so spontaneous. Broderick seemed to possess a peculiar talent of being in the zone and out of it at the same time.

On the whole, the concert had an intimacy I rarely experience. Broderick’s connection with the audience felt very genuine. One of the songs he dedicated to a man named Xavier, who has apparently been present at every one of his shows in London ever since he began touring. He also let the audience choose which song they would like to hear for his encore.

For my own sake as a fan (and perhaps his sake as an artist), I hope he will always retain this level of fame. I would hate to see his performances loose that level of intimacy, and only with a crowd this size in a space like St Giles Church can it be made possible. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy big spectacles and massive music festivals as much as the next person. Still, in this age of social media, paparazzi, and humongous televised talent contests in which one-hit wonders are hyped up beyond belief and then dropped without a moment’s notice, such a tangible and intimate performance felt like a breath of fresh air.

Peter Broderick’s performance flew by, and I can only hope that the time between this concert and the next will fly too.

Oberhofer Takes Over Elvis Guesthouse
June 21, 2015 2:02 pm

When you say 85 Avenue A you immediately think, Arrow Bar. Or at least you should have, until now. Earlier this year, the team of well-known Williamsburg venue Baby’s All Right opened a new bar/club in the East Village, taking over the old Arrow Bar space (RIP). The newly remodeled venue (with legitimate bathrooms might I add) is our new favorite small band destination called, Elvis Guesthouse.

OBERHOFER_IMAGE_2

You can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only was my once favorite bar being replaced, but now my favorite band was playing at this new replacement. Oh, the conflicting feelings! I stumbled in last Wednesday night, June 17th to see Oberhofer taking the stage. Since the space is small, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house; you could really get up into the faces of the band members, seeing every drip of sweat slowly sliding down their nervous faces.

OVERHOFER_IMAGE_3

Never seeing Oberhofer perform live, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but after a shaky start the group killed the rest of the performance. Their garage band sound was a perfect match for the intimate space of Elvis Guesthouse. I felt like I was at band practice. The sounds weren’t perfect, but that just added to the charm of the evening as lead singer and guitarist, Brad Oberhofer, continued to drink his mystery liquid from a pitcher rather than pint glass.

Oberhofer can be categorized as a mixture of GIRLS, and Yellow Ostrich. The almost grunge, almost indie pop, and almost psychedelic, Oberhofer remains one of those gems you can still see in small intimate spaces. Listen up and get familiar. They’ll be back again to wow us this fall with the highly anticipated album, Chronovision.