FIDLAR and The Orwells bring the party to the First Unitarian Church

FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church
FIDLAR at First Unitarian Church I All photos by James Breslin

Los Angeles skate punk band FIDLAR stopped by First Unitarian Church with flower punk kids The Orwells this past Friday night, in what was equal parts a show and a party. The Orwells opened the show with good vibes and simples grooves that got the crowd moving very quickly. The bass and drums were the driving force in this young band’s energetic set. The party got started with The Orwells, but it blew up once FIDLAR took the stage. As they opened with their party anthem “Cheap Beer,” the crowd went into a fit of yelling, moshing, and crowd surfing. The band went wild on stage, jerking around at any moment that they weren’t singing or yelling at the microphone. Vocalist and guitarist, Zac Carper, went especially bonkers as he laid on the ground and jumped into the crowd at one point. They played even faster than they do on record, and the crowd responded spectacularly. FIDLAR brought their garage rock full force during the entire set, and sounded really good especially considering the venue. Check out photos from the show below.


Title Fight, Balance and Composure get heavy at Union Transfer

Title Fight | Photo by Allison Newbold | All photos by Allison Newbold |

The punk rock guys from Kingston and Doylestown, PA put on a phenomenal hometown show at a sold out Union Transfer last week. Both Title Fight and Balance and Composure displayed just how heavy they can be, and how tight they are, even with stage divers running by them for almost the entirety of the show.

After opening sets from poppy Lehigh Valley duo Slingshot Dakota and Portland, Maine’s Cruel Hand, Balance and Composure kicked off a set of songs mostly from their second album The Things We Think We’re Missing. These tracks sounded huge, and even better than they do on the record. The grittiness in the music came through very well, especially as Jon Simmons poured his heart out in every way from melodies to all out screams. As they played “Parachutes” and “Notice Me” it was as if the band transcended into a space between beautiful and grungy, bringing the chanting crowd along with them. With all the explosions and layered guitar grooves in their powerful music, Balance and Composure has continued to progress as one of the best bands in the area.

Title Fight is a band that has not only put out great records in the recent past (see Floral Green), but has risen to prominence in the national punk rock scene for their intense live shows. Title Fight came out as hard as they always do, head banging and thrashing all over the stage, dodging the multitude of fans that had made their way on to the stage. They did not skip a beat the entire time (except for an injury that caused the show to be put on halt for some time), and picked up one song right as the previous one had ended. Playing old favorites such as “Symmetry” among newer songs like “Secret Society,” they kept the crowd on their feet and in the show. Of course, the crowd was yelling lyrics right back in the band’s face and they seemed to know every single word. The performance was heartfelt, and the ecstatic reaction from the crowd only reinforced just how good this band is.


Dance or unwind to the debut LP from Abington’s Young Pilgrims

young pilgrims

Abington four-piece Young Pilgrims – the remnants of bands The Fillmores and Huey Sunrise – released their debut album Kyoko and a Rocket to the Moon just last week, and it’s a clever and catchy collection of punk music.

Singer Sean Brown’s voice wavers somewhere between sweet and melancholy as he sings about relationships and aging, and the group easily switches from lo-fi amped-up rock to acoustic punk ballads.  It’s the kind of stuff that you can hear and immediately start dancing, but just as easily sit, smile and ponder.

A week from today, on August 10th, the group will play at Manayunk show space Don’t Tread on Me; click here for more information about the show and stream their album here. Get a taste of what’s in store with the song “James Just Might Be Right” below.


The Dead Milkmen headlining free show to rally for Rock to the Future (in Liberty Lands Park on 8/24)


Philly satirical punk legends The Dead Milkmen – who, as Philebrity observes, played their first show 30 years ago today – have been going strong since their reunion in 2008. After a steady string of limited-run 7″ singles, the band recently announced that they will headline the Rally for Rock, a free show on August 24th to raise awareness about music education cuts in Philly schools (and will gather donations for Rock to the Future, which is looking to fill the void left in the wake).  Also on the bill is Andrew Lipke, You Do You, the student band Rock to the Future and more.  In addition to music, there will be plenty of food and activities  – and even some Dr. Dog gear up for auction.  For more information about the show, click here and check out a classic Milkmen below.


Mercury Radio Theater joins the propaganda machine with The Fabulous Red Menace (playing Johnny Brenda’s on 8/3)


Local group Mercury Radio Theater are a unique mix of jazzy swing, raucous punk and experimental theater.  Think Gogol Bordello but a little more intense and distorted and surreal.  On August 3rd, the group is playing The Fabulous Red Menace at Johnny Brenda’s.  According to the group themselves, this new performance is “an homage to old school propaganda and eastern European traditional melodies.”  This is just one of many themed nights the group has done at Johnny Brenda’s and this latest show is sure to be just as bizarre, loud and fun as their previous shows.  Check out some of their material below and get tickets here.


Win tickets to see Laura Jane Grace make her solo Philly debut at MilkBoy on 8/10

laura jane graceLast May, Tom Gabel of punk rock band Against Me! came out publicly as transgender as has gone by Laura Jane Grace ever since.  This summer she is going on her first solo tour, which includes a stop at Milkboy on August 10th.  The show goes on sale next Friday, July 12th, but you can win tickets before they’re available by leaving a comment below.  Ground rules: you have to leave your first and last name in the comments, and you have to enter an email where we can contact you if you win (the e-mail will not be made public).

Against Me!’s most recent studio album was 2010’s White Crosses, but the band is currently making a concept album called Transgender Dysphoria Blues.  Below, you can watch Against Me! perform The Replacements classic “Androgynous” with Joan Jett, and watch Grace play “Walking Is Still Honest” at Punks In Vegas.  Check here for more ticket information.

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