You say goodbye, I say hello. Cheers Elephant, who have traded in the urban landscapes for greener west coast pastures, had a bit of a homecoming Friday night at Union Transfer. Welcoming all manner of friends and family (I think that most of the audience was on the guest list), the indie psych-rockers brought back a bunch of energy and sunshine with them. While L.A. may be kind to them, there is nothing quite like going in to that bar where everybody knows your name. While they may have been absent for a while, the real star of the double bill was another local group: Toy Soldiers.
Saying goodbye (for now, anyhow. Ask The Dismemberment Plan how long any group with strong ties to their hometown can really stay away) Ron Gallo, Dominic Billett, Bill McCloskey, Matt Kelly and Luke Leidy, brought on a slew of special guests to help them celebrate. Local heroes for the better part of a decade, with numerous awards and accolades to back up the claims, the blues/country/alt rockers kicked off the night covering the perennial Semisonic hit “Closing Time” before settling in to their extensive catalogue. Sprinkling in a healthy dose of dry wit, Ron and friends made it clear that they were not leaving Philly behind, but rather focusing on projects that will, hopefully, help expand the local music scene, including launching a record label.