27 April 2011

Lightning Bolt, YACHT @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, 4/26/11

Two shows became one. Lightning Bolt was slated to support Dan Deacon at the Starlight Ballroom last night, but something happened and Deacon cancelled. The official reason given was that he was sick, but based on the chatter outside no one seemed to be buying it. I'm inclined to believe that he was in fact ill because why else would someone whose live act is nothing short of legendary, just bail on a show. Unless of course, he like really really hates Philly.
Anyway, YACHT was already booked for the First Unitarian so R5 merged the two as opposed to having two partial shows going on in different parts of the city. That being said, at 8 PM the official bill read Lighting Bolt, YACHT, Jeffrey Jerusalem, and Ed Schrader's Music Beat.
I saw Ed Schrader two summers back in Baltimore, and then it was just him and a drum. He's added a bass player since then. There was some gnarly distortion coming off the bass, and the alteration between shouting and off-kilter falsetto made me smile. Jeffrey Jerusalem is based out of Portland, but is originally from West Philadelphia so that was cool. His collection of beats got the crowd moving, partly because most of the crowd was relieved that the first band was done and partly because his beats have this nice springy quality to them that causes co-motion.
I'm a poor blogger, and an even worse critic. I willfully ignore bands for reasons that are completely beyond my comprehension. Until last night, YACHT was one of those groups. I knew they were under the DFA umbrella, so I had an idea of what could occur but I knew very little beyond that. HOLY SHIT. I really dug the set, from start to finish. Granted I had a few pints as well, but still. The woman who does the vocals, (Note: I told you I was a poor reporter I don't know anyone's fucking name.), was climbing on top of the amps, fielding questions from the audience, and at one point asked if anyone believed in aliens. They also covered Judas Priest. This was also about the time where everyone started taking their shirts off. It was grossly hot in the basement, not that it mattered but it had a serious furnace feel to it. Moral of the story, it was a tremendous set and not only that but they have a new record dropping some time in July.
When Lightning Bolt began to play, the YACHT only fans began to flee. One of my favorite things about seeing Lightning Bolt is watching the unsuspecting run for their lives. It happened over the summer in Chicago when they came on after Beach House, and it happened again last night. Predictably the sound was deafening, and the crowd fired up. There was a good pit going that I didn't want to leave, but for whatever reason there was some slam dancing as well and to be perfectly honest I have very little tolerance for that sort of nonsense. I'm game for throwing down, but once flailing arms are involved I'm out. At least one dude I know of got punched in the face. As for the set itself, Lightning Bolt owned. Bass, drums, and ten amps is to my ears what cigarettes and lager are for my body. Exactly what I need.

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