by Jaz Bowens
North Star, a corner bar in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia cannot be judged from its outside appearance. The little corner bar is actually quite large on the inside; large enough to fit three unique bands with very different sounds on Friday Nov. 18. Goodbye Toby, Liz & the Lost Boys, and Wild Child put on a good show for everyone.
Everyone had a chance to eat and get some drinks before heading into the stage section for the sounds of Goodbye Toby. At one of their favorite venues to perform, childhood friends Jason Oller & Alex Markovitz sounded great together on North Star’s stage which provided good lighting and sound quality. The audience could tell that they were friends who just enjoyed playing music and wanted to share it with us. Their song “LA” quickly became one of my favorites and it’s available on their new album. Make sure to check them out online for details about upcoming shows and new releases including their new EP, In The Morrow .
The next band on stage was an experience. Liz & the Lost Boys, a Philadelphia folk rock band, had many mesmerized with Liz Ciavolino’s harp playing. Everyone couldn’t help but turn around and pay attention. As someone who had never seen a band led with a harp, I was intrigued. Ciavolino’s singing sounded like a blend of spoken word with jazz or blues rhythms. I don’t think their sound can be described. All I know is that their music is quite soothing and pleasant. I’m listening to their song escape, online, as I am becoming even more fascinated. Check out some more of their music of their current album, Liz & The Lost Boys.
Wild Child, all the way from Austin, Texas was next on stage. The folk band lead by vocalist and song writers Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins, are making a name for themselves in their hometown and nationally as many of their Philly fans came out to support them on their first night playing in our city. Soulful is the word I would use to describe Wilson’s voice. It sounded seamless paired with Carey McGraw on the drums, cellist Sadie Wolfe, Evan Magers on the keyboard, and multi-talented Matthew Mares. Wilson grooved with closed eyes and a sway as she melted into the music. The array of instruments from the great base and harmony from the cello to Wilson on the violin and everything in between made the venue feel larger than life as the sounds engulfed the room and bounced off the brick walls of the stage.
They just finished playing in New York the previous day before coming to Philadelphia. They joked about how Philly is better and how they were glad to have the opportunity to play for us. Of course, the crowd cheered as almost everyone agreed and they continued on to play. People continued to head even closer to the stage, beginning to dance along and bob their heads. Even more came out from the dining room to watch as a noticeable wave of people piled into see the show.
Their first album, Pillow Talk, has been doing great as it continues to climb the charts. They just finished their second album, The Runaround, which was released earlier this month. Their single “Rillo Talk” is amazing! So soulful. For new listeners, I recommend listening to some tracks off their first album, singles from The Runaround, and getting to know the band by checking out their website. And of course, order their new album.
I had the chance to speak to Wilson after their set to congratulate her on a good show and to ask her a few questions about what inspires her music and how their city brings out inspiration as well. “We know a lot of bands in Austin and that makes us work harder and keeps us on our toes. Our inspiration is everywhere,” she said. Their music is personal and they draw from their experiences to write and perform with enthusiasm. No doubt, this shows the audience how much love they put into every song.
Wilson has a lot of future plans for Wild Child. “We want to continue to tour and we plan on going to Canada, too. But we definitely want to reach more fans by going to larger venues and more places nationally and possible internationally as well,” she said. Wild Child has a lot in store for them as I see them continuing to have great success.
The crowd loved all the bands. Many people left knowing about a new band they never heard before. Goodbye Toby and Liz & The Lost Boys have my attention and I will continue to check out their new songs and releases. For more information about each band make sure to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.