by Alexandra Healey
After spending fifteen minutes trying to find parking, I quickly walked to Underground Arts in order to get a good spot inside for the two British based bands, Everything Everything and The Joy Formidable, playing later. The venue was packed once I went inside, but everyone was friendly enough to let me move in front of them with my camera (it doesn’t hurt being five feet tall). Though once I got to a certain spot, I couldn’t move any further, because the venue had become so packed.
In no time, the gentlemen of Everything Everything walked onto the stage wearing matching red jackets, ready to play for the first time in Philadelphia. Immediately they opened up with “Blast Doors” from their newest album Get to Heaven that came out this past February. The song surprised those who expected a rock band, but instead they got the sounds of a rhythmic, electronic rock band. Lead singer, Jonathan, showed off his talented voice in falsetto, with bassist and keyboardist, Jeremy, and guitarist, Alex, on back up vocals and Michael in the back on drums.
Even though most the crowd didn’t know what to expect from the band, there was a handful of people around me singing along with the songs. The band played songs like “Kemosabe”, “Regret”, and “Fortune 500”, which caused the people in the crowd to start dancing a little, even if they didn’t realize that they were doing it. The band didn’t talk much. They quickly went from one song to another and before everyone knew it, they were playing their last song for the night, which was their most popular song, “Distant Past” (also from their newest album). It was a song that you couldn’t help but move along to and left the members of the crowd cheerful, with people chatting with the strangers next to them. When the band had left the stage, many fans of Everything Everything moved away from the stage, allowing the fans of the next band to get closer to the stage.
Between sets, the crowd began to get antsy as some of the crowd talked about how long it’s been since they last saw the Joy Formidable. Almost thirty minutes had past when lead singer and guitarist, Ritzy, back up singer and bassist, Rhydian, and drummer, Matthew. They tepped onto the stage while the opening of “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade” played as they waved hello and got set up with their instruments.
You could tell that the crowd who stayed were huge fans of the band because of how they reacted to the music and they of course were singing along. Unfortunately during the opening song, someone in the audience started to cause trouble. Ritzy told the band to stop and yelled at the person to knock it off. Once security had come to escort the man out of the venue, she openly stated how much she hated violence, especially at one of their shows. She expressed that with all the hatred in the world, we all needed to stop and be kind, especially in a place where everyone comes together to enjoy the music.
The band then continued their set with songs like “This Ladder is Ours” and “Maw Maw Song”, even went into the crowd to play their song “The Brook” unplugged. I eventually had to force my way out of the crowd because I could hardly move. I went to the back to enjoy the rest of the show while others sang their hearts out as the set closed with “Whirring”.