By Ziggy Merritt
Still roaring after releasing their self-titled debut back in 2018, the Seattle-based band Thunderpussy returned to Philadelphia this past Saturday at Milkboy Philly in what was one of their final shows on the last leg of an extensive summer of touring. Joining the four-piece were openers Hollis Brown who have accompanied them since late July, and the perhaps equally boldly named, Full Bush hailing from right here in Philadelphia.
Opening the night, Full Bush kicked things off with lead vocalist Kate Breish applying the pressure to a noisy crowd with vocals that expertly fluctuate in intensity. Not to be drowned out Adesola (drums), Cassie (bass), and Jayne (lead guitar) each brought a unique flavor of post-punk to the mix.
After a pause that included the person in front of me being escorted out by security, Hollis Brown, successfully erased the inherent awkwardness that had hushed the front of the stage with a short but sweet set. With a mixture of rock and Americana, the indie favorites displayed a seasoned sense of ease with guitarist Jonathan Bonilla notably providing several brief yet memorable solos to not insignificant number of the audience who had come just for them.
Following yet another uncomfortable incident toward the front of the stage that made me internally question what the hell had gotten into the crowd that evening, Thunderpussy started their set with guitarist Whitney Petty entering the stage solo. Drawing her bow across the strings of the guitar to produce a mythical build-up to a promisingly electric performance, the entrance of vocalist Molly Sides and company immediately turned up the hype.
With selections from their self-titled, their yet-to-be-released EP fittingly titled Milk It, and a notably faithful cover of Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love” expectations were met and exceeded. Filling up the stage with occasional high-flying antics, thunderous vocals, and guitar licks that immediately conjure up any number of classic rock stalwarts, Thunderpussy are a band that should sincerely be experienced live.
Sides enthusiastically did her part in spreading an optimistic message of hope and love, of breaking down borders and not creating them, that is so central to the foundation of the band. That message culminated in an exercise of trust and friendship which oddly enough ended in an awkward handshake with Breish from Full Bush following a prompt from Sides to the crowd.
It was a weird, very sporadically uncomfortable, but by-and-large wonderful evening at the classic upstairs venue. As a final PSA when attending a live event; respect a person’s personal space, maybe drink in moderation, and just be in the moment.