by Donte Kirby
Jet Set Sail, Hunters, and The Audacity tear the house down at the Golden Tea House.
The Golden Tea House lies on 40th and Baring, the owners literally turned their home into a venue. The kitchen was relatively large, the 2nd floor ceiling was missing, instead a balcony outlined the walls on the floor above, and the backyard acted as an extra room if the show floor got a little too crowded. The atmosphere was like a house party with a live band. The only thing between you and the bands were mic stands and respect for the performers, which is all the more amazing because, at this show, I laid witness to one of the most intense moshes I’ve ever seen.
The opening act was Jet Set Sail, a three-piece composed of a few of the members from the owners of The Golden Tea House. The crowd swayed and nodded along as they played and cheered pretty loudly when the set was through.
Hitting the stage next, all the way from California, was The Audacity. Before they began Kyle Gibson sung a little tune about the hat on the mic before swapping his green beanie for the gray one on the mic. To make it to Philly, they gunned it all the way from Pittsburgh to be on time for an appointment so the other half of The Audacity (vocal and guitar duties Matt Schmalfeld) can get a new passport and the tour could move on from Philly to Canada. Schmalfeld and bassist Cameron Crowe were pushing their touring van past the speedometer register and counting the seconds of how long it takes to register again, playing the speedometer game during the straight a ways.
When The Audacity started playing, the mosh started in earnest not reaching its apex until the tail end of Hunters’ set where even Schmalfeld joined in the mosh. The Audacity played songs off their album Butter Knife, a name Schmalfeld says fits the album because it’s like “kicking your ass with a blunt sword.” They dedicated the song “Cold Rush” to the bartender who wouldn’t serve them because they reeked of weed. Gibson wants The Audacity fans to “lay down, close their eyes and feel it,” when they hear the album and I’m sure he was happy watching how much the mosh felt his music as the floor was shaking as they moved.
Following the performance of The Audacity was Hunters, a Brooklyn band that has transplanted to Philly. This is a band that exuded so much energy, especially lead vocalist Izzy. It’s no wonder that the mosh was at its most frenzied during their set. Playing songs off their five track album Hands on Fire such as “Brat Mouth” and “Headache”, the crowd was like putty in their hands the whole set. They would have played one more after that, but Derek’s guitar was done.
For fans of The Audacity in the upcoming year they can look forward to a West Coast tour with The White Knights and a stop at SXSW. In March, they will also be releasing the first album they ever recorded back in 2006. It didn’t get released then because the label folded. It will be a compilation album of all the outtakes and songs that didn’t make it on Twigs. They’re also working on a new project called “Current Bob Dylan” and of course a 4th album before the New Year is out.