Archive for the ‘Vundabar’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 14, 2022] Mother Mother

Back in February (all of 8 months ago), I took my kids and one of their friends to see Mother Mother at TLA.  We all loved it.  The kids had a great time and I was really blown away by their show.  They were supposed to play at The Foundry, which of course would have been neat, but they put on a BIG show and the TLA was the superior venue.  TLA holds about 1,000 people (Foundry is 450).  So I was really surprised to hear that they were coming back to Philly in 8 months to play the Fillmore (capacity 2,500).

And, as I say, it was PACKED.  We were all very happy  to have seen them at TLA where we were super close.  But this show was also fun because the crowd was totally into it and the band seemed bigger and more intense.

Although the setlist was largely the same, the order of the songs was quite different.  In fact, they opened with a song that last time was way near the bottom of the set.  At TLA, Ryan said

they were going to play a song that they knew was weird when they recorded it.  But they had to put it out there.  And now, it sounds like the non-binary community has embraced “Verbatim” and made it their own.

They opened with “Verbatim” and the crowd went nuts.  After a rollicking “O My Heart” (the album that their most popular song is on and which has been revitalized by TikTok), they played a couple of songs that they didn’t play last time.  In all they played five different songs from the previous show (and didn’t play six songs that they played last time).

One of these new songs was “Creep” by Radiohead, which was a huge surprise.  When we saw them last time, Molly Guldemond sang “Pure Love” a nearly a capella song that highlights her voice nicely.  For this show, she did “Creep,” instead.  The crowd really responded to it.  The only problem for me was the guy right behind who wanted to prove that he knew all the words (like everyone else) by singing them very loudly in my ear.  It was especially crappy because Molly has a great voice and really hit all the notes perfectly (this guy didn’t). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 14, 2022] Vundabar

My daughter has a Vundabar song, “Alien Blues” on her playlist and I really like it.  Turns out I’ve been aware of Vundabar since 2018 and would have enjoyed seeing them at any time.  They seem to tour a lot–at least I’ve seen their name around opening for people quite often.  I didn’t know that they were supposed to open this show.

The first opening band was Transviolet, who I didn’t know, although the lead singer Sarah McTaggart was hanging around the lobby wearing a fascinating outfit–fishnet stockings and something like leather underwear.  She was super friendly to all the fans.

Originally, Sir Sly was slated to be a second opening band.  Then one of the members had a baby and decided that he couldn’t be away from the baby (good for him) and Vundabar stepped up.

Had I known about Vundabar I would have encouraged us to arrive earlier.  We dawdled and knew that a Friday night would be very trafficky, but I didn’t really mind as I hadn’t heard of either band.  However, t turned out that Transviolet went on at earlier than 8.  And Vundabar started before 8 as well.  Or maybe they went on at 8 and between parking, buying merch and the like, we didn’t get into to see them until half way through the set.

Worse yet, the show was PACKED and we were stuck not only at the back but in the walkway, so we had to move constantly.  It wasn’t until we were really settled that I was able to enjoy whatever song they were playing.  Soon after they played “Alien Blues” and the crowd went berserk.  This is a big TikTok song apparently.  We even saw a fan face timing her friend who was dancing to the song as she streamed it.  Weird but fun.

Vundabar played one more wild song and I determined that I would very much like to see them again.

Then the crowd adjusted and we were able to get a little closer 9not a lot, but out of the walkway) for Mother Mother.

  1. Tonight I’m Wearing Silk
  2. Diver
  3. Ash in the Sun
  4. Worn / Wander
  5. Darla
  6. Nosferatu µ
  7. Petty Crime
  8. Alien Blues
  9. Oulala
∞ Gawk (2015)
Smell Smoke (2018)
µ Devil for the Fire (2022)
⇔ Either Light (2020)


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[DID NOT ATTEND: August 12, 2022] Guster / Allison Ponthier

I really enjoyed Franz Ferdinand’s first album.  Liked their second and then kind of forgot about them.  They made a (really good) album with Sparks that put them back on my radar.

This Greatest Hits tour would have been the ideal way to see them.

However, we had tickets to see Elvis Costello–a guy I’ve wanted to see for a pretty long time.

UPDATE: It’s a shame the Elvis show was so meh.

I could have seen Vundabar back in June when they did a headlining tour.

Although, by the time I knew who Vundabar was and was interested in seeing them because of their ubiquitous (in my house) old song “Alien Blues” I was way too late.

I was also a little surprised to find out that their music doesn’t really sound like “Alien Blues”–that song is a bit more frenetic and weird than their most recent album anyway.  Although most live reviews I’ve read say they are terrific live.

They’ve got quite the buzz, so I’m sure they’ll be back.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: June 23, 2022] Vundabar / Runnner [moved from March 25, 2022, First Unitarian Church]

This show was moved forward a couple of months.  By this time I knew who Vundabar was and was interested in seeing them because of their ubiquitous (in my house) old song “Alien Blues.”

This show sold out before I really knew about it, so there was no way i was going.

I was also a little surprised to find out that their music doesn’t really sound like “Alien Blues”–that song is a bit more frenetic and weird than their most recent album anyway.  Although most live reviews I’ve read say they are terrific live.

M.A.G.S. was supposed to open for this tour, but he couldn’t accommodate the new dates.

Instead, Runnner was the opener.  Noah Weinman is the singer-songwriter behind the melancholy bedroom-folk project.  I listened to a couple of songs and yes, “melancholy bedroom-folk” sounds about right.  I wouldn’t have enjoyed them as an opener, especially if I thought Vundabar was going to be a rocking outfit.


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[POSTPONED: June 23, 2022] Vundabar / M.A.G.S. [postponed until June 23, 2022, moved to The Foundry]

I’m not even sure if I knew who Vundabar was in March 2022.  My daughter had put their song on a playlist, and I loved it, but I never registered the band name.

I wouldn’t have gone to this show anyway, since I don’t go to The Church.  But the postponement means I didn’t actually miss it.

Last fall, Vundabar’s 2013 song “Alien Blues” became a viral hit via TikTok. They’ve now re-recorded the song and have brought in Indigo De Souza to sing on it. (Listen below.) They’ve also just rescheduled their tour. “With the rise of Omicron we’re option to move our February and March tour dates to May and June of 2022,” says singer/guitarist Brandon Hagen. “With the recent spikes in cases and general difficulty of safely navigating live events it feels like the best option.”

M.A.G.S. is the solo moniker for Buffalo-bred, Los Angeles-based artist Elliott Douglas. His style seamlessly glides between genres ─ from funky garage to minty alt-pop ─ and hooks you in almost immediately (according to Take This to Heart).

But I tend to agree with this statement.  His songs are bright and cheerful sounding. Catchy and bouncy.  Or as one more review puts it, the album is an “indie rock affair rife with intimate energy and electric overdrive.”

I really enjoyed his stuff and will have to listen to some more.



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