Algiers at Johnny Brenda's
Many, not all, but many of Algiers's songs are just so HEAVY, both musically and in the weighty policial and personal reflections in their lyrics. They've labeled themselves "Doom Soul" which is certainly apt. Isn't it interesting though that they use samples of gospel music in so many of those heavy songs? Gospel music can be about praise but it can also be about souls and suffering. I have the feeling their songwriter has a churchgoing experience more full of the latter than the former. It would certainly explain a lot.
One Way Out at PhilaMOCA
The touring band on this bill (which is a nice thing to be able to say once again) was One Way Out from Washington, DC. I think that to talk about them I have to start with their's lead singer's voice, which is much more powerful and soulful than I would have expected coming from a relatively young person. He's got stage presence too which is why he's in so many of these photos. The band's music is heavy and kind of funky actually. Not that they sound like RHCP or anything. I think they're more like Living Colour, playing intense music with enough of a groove that they just seem to have ended up there.
I would love to joke about the band's matching hazmat suits but honestly with the Delta variant and all they're probably being smarter than me. The door guy probably should have worn one too.
The Dead Flowers at PhilaMOCA
When a band opens their show by shouting "Get ready to rock!" or that sort of thing they'd better damn well rock. The Dead Flowers damn well rock, no question. If you like raw rock-n-roll where you can pick up on the Blues and Boogie Woogie influences then this band is for you. Also, if you like bands which are actually doing something on stage. There seem to be an awful lot of stand-there-and-play bands here in Philly. Those bands can still be good but I definitely prefer bands which look and act like they're having a blast.
If you read my last review you might remember that I said the lighting at PhilaMOCA could be better. This is that better lighting. If the photos this time were less than spectacular then that's my fault. Also, yes, the default video at PhilaMOCA is a live shot of the band which then turns into one of those video tunnel things.
Lito and the Shepherds at PhilaMOCA
This particular show at PhilaMOCA was all rock bands. Two of them were loud and in-your-face. Then there was the subtle band, the one which built up intensity as they went along, which of course was Lito and the Shepherds. You can probably tell from the backgrounds that they're a bit psychedelic, and I feel like they must have some Jazz influences too. Their music is slinky and groovy, getting you into a mood before (sometimes) turning up the intensity. Very catchy and very cool.
PhilaMOCA is a DIY-ish music venue which also shows movies (indie stuff) sometimes so they have a good projector. Lito and the Shepherds brought their own background video. Neat, huh? The problem is that most of the light hitting the stage comes from that projector. There is almost no light on stage right from the two spotlights in the room. So in case you're wondering why I don't have any good photos of the band's lead guitarist it is because that video has a square-ish aspect ratio and stage right was in the dark part at the edge. Just look at the photos of the other two bands who played this show for how much better the lighting could have been.