by Jaz Bowens
The second month of Communion Club Nights rolled into Underground Arts the first Thursday with seven bands/acts; Tennis, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, On An On, Savoir Adore, Low Cut Connie, Rocky and The Pressers, and a soul clap & dance-off featuring DJ Jonathan Toubin and guest selector Eddie Gieda (of An Albatross / Guitar Army).
This communion night was different then the first for two reasons- the venue and the turn out. The first Communion Nights at Johnny Brenda’s was a smaller space and because it was Philadelphia’s first Communion Nights, the turnout wasn’t as high. Plus, Johnny Brenda’s is a bar and restaurant with a stage on the second floor so there was mix of people there for different reasons while the Underground Arts is a venue just for performances.
Thursday’s show was packed after the night got started and the size of Underground Arts accommodated everyone perfectly between two stages, two bars and the kitchen team headed by Chef Jennifer Carroll serving everyone efficiently and quickly. The main stage area was for the 18 and under crown while the other stage area was for people 21 and over.
Bands performed on both stages. The first performance was by a reggae band out of Bronx, NY, Rocky and The Pressers. They were soulful and seasoned, as if they had been playing for many years. The next two performances were Philadelphia’s own Low Cut Connie on the 21 and over side and On An On on the main stage. Straddling two performances was fun and I was able to get a good feel of both of the bands. Low Cut Connie had a rockabilly sound to them and their fans came out in droves singing and dancing along. The energy during their performance was through the roof. On An On was great. Unlike the other performances, the lights were low and the stage pretty dark as their background and their music was the focus.
The next performance was by Savior Adore, led by vocalist Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer of Brooklyn, NY. Their music is good to dance to as well. It was nice to see that many of the bands fans had come out to see them. I even met a couple who came all the way from Alabama to see Communion Nights.
Then, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats came on stage. There sound is a nice blend of jazz and early early R&B. The crowd was quite responsive and I heard whispers about how good they sounded.
The last band to perform was Tennis. There were loads of people who came out specifically for Tennis. Between people going outside for a smoke break and refilling the cups, everyone stopped and listened to Tennis. Husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley had great chemistry on stage and Moore sounded smooth, perfectly paired with mellow guitar and drum beats.
Communion rounded off with the Soul Clap & Dance-Off feat. DJ Jonathan Toubin & Guest Selector Eddie Gieba.
The whole night was good and quite energetic. I personally recommend that people go well rested and ready to party because the atmosphere was vibrant and energetic throughout the night. I had a great time and I’m looking forward to the next month’s Communion.