by Lauren Rosier
Thursday evening at Voltage Lounge was an interesting one to say the least. The Thirsty Thursday show featured a total of five bands, though I was only able to catch three of them, as there was a show also happening at Electric Factory (who is Mac DeMarco anyway?), and the parking was outrageous.
Finally I arrived around 8:00 PM, excited to see some live music, paired with the hopes of discovering some exciting, new musical talent that I could eventually tweet about and start an uproar. The lineup featured an array of different musical genres from modern rock, blues rock, to an indie rock-ish band from Chitown, The Kickback.
Philadelphia-based rock band, American Dinosaur, is as a blues rock band, but the four-piece had more of a jam rock-kind of sound to me. Their song “Emily” showed a more melodic side to their music. The guitars were sweeping and very inviting, pulling the listener into the fullness of the track. This song had a really good sound and it seemed like it fit the band’s overall image pretty well.
They also performed a Tame Impala cover that really made their vocals and harmonies shine, revealing the depths and valleys of their vocal capabilities. When the harmonies set in, it was like a flow of honey washing through your ears. It also helped to showcase the band’s instrumentation.
The last song American Dinosaur performed was called “Sweepstakes” off their upcoming EP. It was a solid rock song with a very modern rock sound, but also undertones of that classic rock sound. Between the four-piece, they’re a good rock band, but I was a bit confused as to what type of sound they were really going for. With that more clear cut, I think they really have a bright future ahead of them.
A four-piece indie band from Chicago, The Kickback, took the stage next to perform in front of a minimal crowd. I think the Mac DeMarco show really hurt the turnout of the show, but for the people that were in attendance, they were extremely into it, and receptive to all the bands that performed.
I was truly impressed with The Kickback. Their sound is slightly indie rock with tones of classic rock ‘n roll and modern rock reminiscent of bands like The Fratellis. Their set was solid; a good set of songs ranging from uptempo rock to more melodic tunes.
They did perform a terrific cover honoring Prince and it really showcased the band’s talents as true musicians. Each musician was pretty solid, but I was most impressed with the talents of their guitarist and how he was able to transform a Prince track into something even more magical. Be sure to check them out when they return to Philadelphia in July at Johnny Brenda’s.
Philadelphia’s own Modern Colour took the stage last around 10:30 PM. They are a four-piece blues rock outfit featuring Stephan Sirochman (vocals), Nate Ridgeway (guitar), Chris Boyle (bass), and Thomas Weir (drums). Like always, they gave the crowd 110%.
After just one song, you’ll understand that this quartet has influences ranging from classic psychedelic rock great, Jimi Hendrix, to the guitar talents of Sirochman and Ridgeway, to the more modern, grittiness of blues rock band, The Black Keys, from the heavy bass sounds of Boyle, and the solid drumming of Weir.
Their latest single, “Try,” is such a solid rock song opening with the intense bass and guitar, and then Sirochman’s vocals, which just soar to new heights. The band performed other tracks like “Mercury,” “The Ridge,” (named after Ridgeway), and a Black Keys cover, “Till I Get My Way.”
The band’s persona really shines on heavy rock numbers like “Try” and blues rock tracks like the Black Keys’ “Till I Get My Way.” Their live performance is unlike anything you’ve seen from a local band; it opens with the intensity and engagement you want in a live performance and continues throughout the entirety of the set. With that said, they’re not constantly set at a 10 throughout the performance. They know when to bring it down and notch, and ramp it back up. They have a good balance in the intensity of their live performance.
If you want to have a musical experience and not just “see” another live band, I definitely recommend exposing yourself to some Modern Colour. They’re definitely one of Philadelphia’s up and coming rock bands and have incredibly big things in their future.