Archive for the ‘First Unitarian Church’ Category

[ATTENDED: April 28, 2017] Hovvdy

I thought that I had heard of Hovvdy (that’s 2 v’s but pronounced “Howdy”), but it’s possible I was thinking of other bands with 2 Vs in their name.  But when I looked up information about this concert, I saw that a lot of people were excited to see them (and that their latest album had been reviewed (positively) by Pitchfork.

We waited in the stifling heart for them to go on–and really should have sacrificed our spot to get water (only $1/bottle a the door!).  Unlike a more “polished” show, where you know that bands will take forever in between sets, this seemed like it would be a pretty quick turn around–the band even came out right away to set up.

Although when all was said and done it was nearly 30 minutes by the time Hovvdy went on.  And boy, did I wish we had taken advantage of the First Unitarian Church’s very generous reentry policy.  Because man, was it hot.  Like unpleasantly hot.

So we stood and sweated and waited for Hovvdy (we didn’t want to give up our semi-decent spot–although truth be told, it was hard to see from just about anywhere).

When the band started I was surprised by how great it sounded.  Birdwing sounded fine, but they must not have been hooked up to the PA, because when Hovvdy’s drummer hit a drum, it was like going from mono to Dolby.

Charlie Martin and Will Taylor are the main force behind Hovvdy (not sure who is who).  They record as a duo.  Each guy sang and played guitar.  From what I can tell Hannah Read (from Lomelda) was on bass.  [Lomelda opened for the show instead of Birdwing in NYC].  And I can’t find the drummer’s name (although all reviews of the band mention that Martin and Taylor were both drummers before they started playing songs on guitar, so I’ll mention it too).

Hovvdy played a kind of noisy lo-fi rock (I see they call it pillowcore).  Both singers’ voices and musical styles were fairly different which kept the music constantly shifting. The rhythm section kept the groove nicely while the two guys (split far apart on the stage) did their thing–sometimes singing backing vocal for the other one.

I found pretty much all of their songs to be catchy–catchy enough to grab their CD on the way out (which is a bit lower key than their live show).  The CD, Taster, had apparently just been released that day (it was download-only previously).

I have no idea what their setlist was as I can;’t find it anywhere, although evidently many of the songs were from Taster.

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[ATTENDED: April 28, 2017] Birdwing

Birdwing opened the show for Hovvdy and Pinegrove.  I wasn’t familiar with their music, but I had listened to a few songs on bandcamp and I was interested to see them live.

This concert was being held at the First Unitarian Church in Philly, which I’d never been to.  I had heard a lot about this venue and the really legendary bands that have played there (usually a few years before becoming legendary).  I was under the impression that the venue’s capacity was like 100 people, but that is clearly not true.  One source suggests that it is closer to 600. So I was surprised by just how large the basement proved to be.

But the one thing that I had heard for sure was that it was hot.  And holy cow was it ever hot.

We went on a mild April evening (temp low 70s) and we arrived a few minutes before Birdwing went on.  By the time they started we were both wet from sweat.  There is virtually no air circulation (the ceiling fans may have been spinning only because of people fanning themselves). (more…)

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