by Janelle Engle
Nothing like a band reunion to spark a fire in the hearts of old fans again. The rare touring Fratellis from Scotland had entered a hiatus in 2009 and this being their first US visit since then, it is no surprise the band sold out almost the entire much anticipated tour. It’s almost an unwritten guide in the music industry that once a band goes away for awhile, they are usually welcomed back more eagerly than when they had left and in Philadelphia, this was no exception.
To start off the night, opening band The Ceremonies took the stage to a very anxious, crowded audience. But if they were nervous due to the size and anticipation of the crowd, The Ceremonies did not show it. They captivated the crowd very easily with their modern rock sound. Particularly notable is their single “ Land of the Gathering “ which ended their set with a relaxed, melodic finish just as strong as they came onto the stage. And since they only have a five song EP out right now, you can definitely expect more good things from this band.
Once The Ceremonies had the crowd nice and warmed up, The Fratellis entered the stage and immediately launched into a 18-song set including a healthy mix of new and old songs. The set included crowd favorites like “ Vince The Loveable Stone” and “Whistle For The Choir” from their 2006 release of Costello Music. It seemed like The Fratellis were well aware of the catchy, upbeat tune each song off that album had in order to keep the audience dancing all night long. Fans of the new album, We Need Medicine, weren’t disappointed either as the band also played multiple songs off this latest release. Songs like, “She’s Not Gone Yet But She’s Leaving” and “Seven Nights Seven Days” translated brilliantly from the album. It seemed like both new or old, all the songs were received well by the audience who were consistently on their feet the whole time, dancing and singing along to a band that they waited all too long to see again.
The dancing only stopped at the start of the show when singer Jon Fratelli mentioned feeling under the weather and that he was going to rely on a lot of crowd participation for the songs. But Fratellis fans either didn’t notice or care. In fact, when the singer apologized for what he felt like was a “sub-par” performance, his comment was only meant with boos from the very vocal crowd followed by more feverish dancing to make up for all that loss time.
One thing I noticed from The Fratellis fans is that they ranged in a variety of ages for a rock band who haven’t been around too often. I expected to see mostly 20-somethings looking for a bit of nostalgia from the band’s first release but in front of me were a group of kids that couldn’t have been more than nine or ten. Despite likely just learning how to walk when The Fratellis were writing their first album, they were singing along and dancing like the rest of the crowd. To me, that’s a sign of a timeless rock band. No matter what age or how much time has gone by, The Fratellis is a reliable indie rock band with music all ages can dance to.