All photos by Chris Sikich | countfeed.tumblr.com
Sunday night at North Star saw a paring of artists touring off of two of the year’s greatest albums: headliners Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside and openers Mount Moriah. Ford was making a return trip to Philly after their July gig at MilkBoy was truncated due to the sweat factor (see my Key photos and review here). And while autumn may have been in full swing outside, Ford and the Sound Outside still brought some heat with their blistering set of retro rock. With a voice seemingly right out of the ‘50s, Ford drove the crowd into a dance frenzy with tracks from Untamed Beast and their forthcoming Summer EP. Opening with the brilliant “Shivers,” where Ford unleashes the word shivers into the ears with a hint of seduction and the new, and taking the audience on a ride that culminated with the hip-shaking “Party Kids” and the incendiary instrumental “The Eagle Has Landed.”
Mount Moriah have a much different sound than Sallie Ford, one of a yearning and loss draped over Heather McEntire’s soulful vocals. With a precise ferocity McEntire strummed her guitar and wove the spellbinding tales of her band’s 2013 masterwork Miracle Temple, and even sandwiched in a brilliant cover of Neil Young’s “Revolution Blues” for good measure.
There may be a gulf of space (Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside hail from Portland, Ore, while Mount Moriah trekked out from the Durham and Chapel Hill area of North Carolina) and sound between these two bands, but their trajectory of greatness is highly apparent and those who witnessed the occasion on Sunday will have many fine memories to savor. And, if they saw the first band, South Jersey’s Pine Barons, they also got an eclectic mix of psychadelic, country, and even Robert Smith.