At first, Sheer Mag looked like an outlier. How would Philly’s coolest punksfare on a four-band lineup with three thrash bands? As it turns out, even metalheads like to dance sometimes. After both openers Red Death and Fury had exited the stage, Sheer Mag graced the stage and the crowd got its first opportunity to take a break from moshing. They seized upon it.
Sheer Mag opened their set with “Meet Me in the Street,” the first track off last year’s release, Need to Feel Your Love. Instantaneously the hometown crew was greeted to a heap of discoing tattooed millennials shaking their asses to the catchy rock tunes Philadelphians have come to love from The Mag. The chaos increased when the band sheared its way into oldie-but-goodie “Hard Lovin’,” a song that reminded the Union Transfer crowd that hard lovin’s the only thing Sheer Mag knows how to do, and baby, they’re hard on you. Also in the mix were tracks from Your Love, included “Turn It Up,” “Expect the Bayonet” and “Can’t Play it Cool,” as well as early cuts “Sit & Cry,” “Nobody’s Baby” and the set-closing “Fan the Flames.”
Sheer Mag made the Philadelphia debut of having a third guitarist in the band last year when they headlined Union Transfer, and the arrangement has only improved since then. With each performance I’ve seen (I’ve seen them approximately 10 or 11 times. I lost count), Sheer Mag gets tighter and tighter as a live band as the venues become bigger, revealing that they’re finally growing into their arena rock shoes. The only downside was that last night, Sheer Mag was relegated to a 35-minute supporting slot for the night’s headliner, Power Trip, another ass-kicking thrash band from Dallas. Power Trip took to the stage – like clockwork – the crowd promptly went back to moshing.
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