by Matt Kelchner
On a chilly and cool fall night, Washington, DC’s own The Dismemberment Plan made a stop in Philadelphia at Union Transfer as part of their tour celebrating the release of their latest album, Uncanney Valley. The new record marks the band’s first since 2001’s Change. Joining them for the tour were Yellow Ostrich, a hard-working band from Brooklyn.
Yellow Ostrich kicked things off promptly at 8 PM Sunday night. After humbly walking out and introducing themselves, the band began to play through their 45 minute set. Yellow Ostrich have only been around since 2009, but they have managed to already release five albums. While there were some fans singing along to the songs, it appeared as if the band was new to most of the audience. Throughout playing selections from their large catalog, Yellow Ostrich also managed to mix in several new songs as well.
Pinning Yellow Ostrich with one distinct sound was difficult. They ranged from long, athematic songs reminiscent of the 90s college-rock scene to others more along the lines of the new wave revival currently happening. Highlights from the set included “How Do You Like It”, “Ghosts” and their final song “Marathon Runner”.
After a relatively quick change over, the four guys who make up The Dismemberment Plan took to the stage. Their night was started with a cut from their newest album, “Let’s All Go To The Dogs Tonight”. The call and response sections at the end of the song quickly warmed the fans up and prepared them for a high energy night to follow. The band then wasted little time getting into their older catalog of classics like “The City” and “Girl O’Clock”. Throughout the night, The Dismemberment Plan did a fantastic job of mixing a lot of the great new songs from Uncanney Valley with crowd favorites from their Emergency & I and Changes albums.
In between songs, singer and guitarist Travis Morrison kept the energetic momentum up with his witty and sarcastic stage banter. Topics ranged from asking the crowd for jokes, recalling play a show in Philadelphia during “snowpacloypse” and inviting the crowd to have pancakes with him. Morrison and the rest of The Dismemberment Plan finished their set with a crowd-fueled singalong in “What Do You Want Me To Say?” before leaving the stage for their encore.
With 16 songs already in the books, The Dismemberment Plan returned to add to the tally. The three song encore consisted of only older songs. After starting with “A Life of Possibilities”, Morrison called upon two fans to come on stage to give away free merch. Immediately following that, he invited the rest of the crowd up for another classic in “Ice of Boston”. With fans lining every square inch of the stage, Morrison moved to face them while singing and then joined them in dancing.
The night ended with a stretched out version of “OK, Joke’s Over”. Towards the end of the song, Morrison threw in lyrics to Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Lorde’s “Royals”, two of the year’s biggest pop songs. The night ended on a high energy, passionate performance from The Dismemberment Plan. After playing a total of 19 songs, not much was left on stage and it only proved that the reunion that began a few years ago is not slowing down anytime soon.