There’s no better way than to close out a Saturday packed with sunshine and BBQs than with some breezy, mellow, summer jams, and Saturday night at Boot & Saddle proved the perfect opportunity to do just that, as Philly pop fivesome Cheerleader made their headlining debut.
Since coming together as a five-piece late last year, Cheerleader have earned international buzz, scoring a spot on the Rachael Ray Feedback party at this year’s SXSW, and opening shows for The Hold Steady in the UK this past May. But they had yet to really make an impression on Philly crowds…until last night. Their breezy, low stakes pop felt as warm as sunshine, and the crowd danced and swayed as they playfully strummed their instruments.
The band’s 40 minute set drew from their self-released EP as well as new songs, which felt decidedly less hazy and more radio-ready. As front man, Joe Haller was boyishly charming, all rosy cheeks and big grins as he admitted he was a pro at the “cheesy pop song.” Standing in the crowd I couldn’t help but feel like this was the conclusion to some classic high school flick—you know, where some band that is actually way too good to play a real high school event is casually jamming out in a gymnasium or a fair somewhere—while the main love interests skip off into the sunset. Cheerleader look the part; they sound tight; and their music makes you feel like a part of some joyous, movie conclusion. For a sunny Saturday night, there are few things less perfect.