Monday, November 7, 2016

Concert Review: Capital Cities @ The TLA - Philadelphia, PA 11/05/16

I miss phone contests for radio stations. Even if they were looking for caller ten and you were caller six you still felt like you had a chance to win.  Nowadays you type a password into a website and wait.  Not the same thrill.

The other day on the way to taking my son to school Philadelphia's adult alternative station, Radio 104.5, announced a texting contest. They were going to give three facts about the band Radiohead and if you could text in the answer that was false you could win one of five pairs of tickets to see Capital Cities the next night in Philadelphia.  The three facts were as follows;

A) Radiohead opened up for Alanis Morissette on 12 dates of her Jagged Little Pill Tour
B) The members of Radiohead all went to school together and were classmates with Richard Ashcroft of The Verve
C) The band that played at the dance in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was comprised of Jarvis Cocker of Pulp and Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway of Radiohead

Well, I knew A and C were true so B had to be false.  Never say useless knowledge is useless. I texted in and assumed I would not win.  I dropped my son off at school and headed to work.  A moment later I received a textsaying that not only was I correct but I had won!  Woohoo!!!

I decided to take my oldest son with me to the show.  Had he not been running late to school that day I would not have been in the car listening to the radio when they announced the contest.  We made a night out of it by stopping in South Philly before the show to indulge in one of Pat's Famous Cheesesteaks!

After navigating back to South Street we made it to the TLA just in time for the opening act. We were not familiar with duo of Chelsea Tyler and Jon Foster known as KANEHOLLER.  We were in for a treat.

Kaneholler classifies themselves as Electro Soul.  To me they are a mood.  A mood that I often want but cannot always define.  It is part Trip Hop with elements of Dance, Dubstep, and Techno with a pinch of Tribal and Middle Eastern beats thrown in.  It is everything I love about Thievery Corporation, Portishead, and Nightmares on Wax yet more accessible.  What I loved more than anything was how it made the women in the audience move their bodies.

If you are unfamiliar with KANEHOLLER do yourself a favor and pick up their EP Vol. 2.  I have been listening to it nonstop since the show.

As they readied the stage for Capital Cities we were excited to hear music from their upcoming album. I was already a fan of "Vowels" and I was looking forward to hearing more.  When they took the stage, to "Lovin' You" by Minnie Ripperton no less, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the duo was accompanied by a five piece backing band including a trumpet player and someone on the mallets.

As Capital Cities played through their set with highlights of "Kangaroo Court" and "I Sold My Bed, But Not My Stereo" I couldn't help but notice they had transformed the concert venue into a club.  They kept the audience included in their set by doing the Capital City Shuffle which is a dance they created.  I don't think I can honestly tell you the last time I went to a show where everyone just jumped around and danced.  It was just simply fun.  The crowd let go and enjoyed themselves.

In between their classics the band treated us with some of their new songs which had a Caribbean influence to them.  The set began to climax as they went from "Vowels" right into "Safe and Sound". The crowd went so crazy afterwards that the band was awestruck.  That just made the crowd go even crazier. There were extended screams and applause and in return they treated us with covers of "Nothing Compares 2 U" and "Holiday" by Madonna.

That was how the show would end, so we thought.  As the (Cash Cash Remix) of "Safe and Sound" played the band took their shirts off and waved them over their heads before jumping into the audience to dance along with the crowd.  I had never seen anything like it before. It became a dance party.  I could not think of a better way to end the show or the night.

Free tickets, a Philly Cheesesteak, discovering a new favorite band and hearing an old favorite band play new music in a small venue with my 16 year old son.  That, my friends, is what memories are made of.

See you when the needle drops!


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