by Matt Kelchner
On a rainy Saturday night in Philadelphia, Laura Stevenson and her band, the Cans, played at MilkBoy Coffee. The show kicked off a five-week tour with fellow Brooklynites Field Mouse. Local three-piece group Cayetana rounded out the all female fronted lined for the evening.
The room was already beginning to fill up as Cayetana took to the stage. The band played through a relatively short, but well received set. They brought out a number of fans to MilkBoy and picked up even more once they finished. Between the tight drumming and moving bass lines, singer/guitarist Augusta Koch’s voice shined through. The band, recently signed to Tiny Engines Records, have a sound of early 2000s indie meshed with melodic punk.
After a rather lengthy change over and an apology for the long delay, Field Mouse went on next. On record, Field Mouse has a distinct dreampop sound to them, but on Saturday night they took their dynamic to a much louder level. Despite building up walls of noise, Singer Rachel Browne’s voice was able to break through song after song. The band played mainly songs from their previously released singles, sprinkling a few new songs throughout their performance. These new songs will appear on their debut full-length album that will be released via Lefse Records this year.
With a packed crowd in front of them, Laura Stevenson and the Cans came on to close out the night. There was no introduction or hello. The band, made up of Stevenson and four other members, went right into playing to kick off their set. The show, the first on the tour, was to celebrate the recently released album Wheel. Many songs from the album, including the single “Runner”, were played that night. Older songs like “808” and “Mouth Breather” were also worked in. Stevenson also treated the crowd to two solo acoustic performances of “Barnacles” and “The Move”.
The group powered through the night with their own special blend of indie-punk, country and singer/songwriter nodes. They worked with a great sense of dynamics, knowing the perfect moments in each song to quiet down only to erupt shortly after. And it only helps to see smiles on every band member as they played through their set. Between tunes, Stevenson shared the personal stories behind many of the songs as well diving into a little of her personal life (which included finishing her thesis paper, congrats!). The evening came to a close with no encore, just thank yous and good byes. It was an amazing kick off to what will be a great five-week tour for Laura Stevenson and Field Mouse.