A crowd gathered in A.K.A. Music in Old City Tuesday night not to peruse records, but to watch The Districts celebrate the release of their debut EP with Fat Possum Records.
Ranging from devout listeners to random passersby, the buzzing Central Pa. band welcomed the audience (many munching on free slices from Pizza Brain) as they walked around the record store shaking hands, greeting friends and fans with beaming grins.
The Districts took the stage at about 6:30 p.m. and played for roughly an hour, playing the newly-released EP in its entirety, mixed with songs off of its self-released 2012 album, Telephone.
First up was the first song from the EP, “Rocking Chair.” Knees started to bend and heads bobbed in the crowd of more than 100 people as soon as fans recognized Rob Grote and Mark Larson’s twinkly guitar notes. As Grote thanked the audience for coming out, he moved onto “Call Box,” “Lyla,” “4 & 4″ and the harmonizing-tune ”Stay Open.” The band went from song-to-song flawlessly, sounding just as pristine as their recordings while giving the same energy as any live show.
“Long Distance” generated some of the most reaction, with the crowd singing along to the chorus and rocking out to the song’s 20-second breakdown, followed by the rest of the set which included “Peaches” – a preview of a new song to be released on an upcoming full-length album – and “Silver Couplets.”
Fans anticipated the performance of The Districts’ hit, “Funeral Beds,” and the band delivered. Generating well over 300,000 hits on the song’s HotBox Session, the crowd once again sung along and grooved to the foot-stomping beat.
January 28th was a big day for The Districts. In addition to the record release, the band also announced on its Facebook page that it will play the Boston Calling Festival in late May. Its next stop before embarking on a nationwide tour with White Denim will opening for one of their Philly favorites, Dr. Dog, this Friday at the Electric Factory.
Photo by John Vettese