2:30 p.m.: Load-in has commenced and Guitarist Pat Cassidy surveys the room after dropping his guitar cases on the stage.
The Factory boasts one of the most colorfully decorated backstages in Philly. The VIP room, about to be prepped for a post show party with Brian Langan of Needle Points DJing, features a multicolored piano, a camel and a Hendrix print.
It’s also a bigger backstage than you might expect – long hallways, lots of rooms. It is a literal factory, after all. This handy guide makes some sense of things.
Districts frontman Rob Grote greets Caitlin McCann, a photographer and good friend of the band who’s been on tour with them in the past. She’s following this short run of shows, shooting photos and selling merch.
#PhillyMusic history, people: the present-day Electric Factory honors its history by mounting a massive wooden door from the original Electric Factory in the hallways. The old venue was located at 22nd and Arch, closed in 1970, and I’m wondering how many splinters this sturdy and imposing door gave people over the years.
Michael Cerio from CBS Philly snaps a photo of The Districts near the backstage entrance. He was interviewing the band for a feature video on Bonfire’s YouTube channel.
The Districts and their merch manager Alex Beebe unwind and watch TV in the green room, flipping through the cable channels. It’s 3 in the afternoon, so there’s not a lot on but daytime talk shows, tennis and a Journey concert. Drummer Braden Lawrence is momentarily stoked on the Journey special, but then realizes it’s on a channel the Factory doesn’t get. “I’m going to log a formal complaint!” he jokes.
Some rockstars prepare for their show with massive partying and a wild entourage. Some prepare for it with eardrops. As Grote sits with his head cocked for five minutes, letting the drops take hold, he explains that it’s to shake what he and his bandmates describe as “monitor ear” – a nasty affliction touring artists get when you have a loud PA blaring on only one side of your head each night.
Aly Spaltro of direct support act Lady Lamb arrives and chats up The Districts about how much time they got to at home. “I did pretty much the same thing in New York,” she says. Hearing that upcoming touring plans include the Pacific Northwest, Spaltro says “You’ll love Portland. It’s great: lots of eager music lovers.”
Interview, round two: this time, The Districts sit down with Nikki Volpicelli – a Key contributor who was here under the auspices of LNTV.