Full Bush at Ortlieb's
Half the time Full Bush are the punkest band ever, ripping very directly into a variety of deserving targets. The other half of the time they're still pretty vicious but a little more subtle about it. I mention this because on their Facebook page they describe themselves as a "Post-punk foursome from Philadelphia", which is alliterative and accurate as long as "Post-" doesn't mean a damn thing. It's four silent letters and a silent hyphen and one loud-ass punk band.
Music venues have only just started to reopen and I have noticed that the bands which get booked right now tend to be local. Maybe this is because nobody wants to travel just yet (though the openers were from upstate and were quite good) or maybe it's a sort of "promote the local music community" thing. Either way, Full Bush are the kind of band which sets one song in an actual local bar and, uh, reviews another local band on another song. They're not just a band from Philadelphia but an identifiably Philly band. The levee which is holding back the waves of touring bands will break sometime around September. Until then, people who normally only go out to big shows might just decide to see something a little smaller. At least it's going out, right? (Seriously, Fuck COVID) Hopefully they'll find some new music they like and I like the fact that it will probably be local music.
The Warhawks at Ortlieb's
This was my first indoor concert in more than a year. About time dammit! Of course things aren't completely back to normal. Bands aren't really touring yet so while there are shows they're all local bands. Since Philadelphia is a part of New Jersey* here we have New Jersey band The Warhawks headlining at Ortlieb's.
So who are these local boys. Well, I want to call The Warhawks a party band but that's not really true. A couple of their songs are on the bouncy pop-rock side ("Deliver" comes right to mind) so there's a hint of that. They're also not the NJ stereotype of Springsteen copycats trying to make every song sound epic but... Other Side of Life is actually kinda like that. Most of their stuff is crunchy guitar rock though. Maybe it's best to call them a high-energy indie rock band which experiments with other styles a bit.
As a photographer I have to comment something I noticed at Ortlieb's. One of the spotlights was pointed at the ceiling for some reason. Last time that spotlight wasn't working at all. Now they've got it lighting up the stains on the ceiling. Are those beer stains? Blood stains? Who knows? The point is that I humbly request that somebody who can reach up there should point that thing at the bands.
* Not literally but, you know, spiritually.
The Schizophonics at Ortlieb's
Did you spot the band's lead singer/guitarist in these photos? I had to wash a lot of his sweat out of my clothes after the show. I mean there's energetic and then there's "how is it humanly possible for someone older than three years old to bounce around like that?" Despite the risk of an elevated laundry bill I do highly recommend catching this band.
As for the venue, the lighting at Ortlieb's is kind of brutal. Perhaps it would have been better if they turned on both front lights :audibleeyeroll:. I do however like the backdrop with light bults arranged like musical notes.