by Matt Kelchner
It was a busy night. Highlighted by a former football coach’s triumphant return and several other concerts happening around the city, the one place to be Thursday evening was at Union Transfer. Touring behind his brand new album, and first off indie giant Sub Pop Records, Ernest Greene aka Washed Out came to Philadelphia to show the city what he has been worked hard on. Touring along with him and his live band were openers Haerts.
Arriving shortly after 9, I was able to catch the last three songs of Haerts set, including “Hope” and “Giving Up”. Despite only seeing the group for a short amount of time, I was able to see the musical range of the group. Singer Nini Fabi powered through the songs that went from power ballad to poppy dance tunes. Two things remained constant, the precise performance from Haerts and the upbeat energy from the crowd. They showed great stage presence as well. It wouldn’t surprise me to see their name headlining the same venue in the upcoming months.
After a lengthy change over, the other band members, sans Ernest Greene, started to come to each of their respective stations on stage. Then following suit with acoustic guitar in hand, the mastermind behind Washed Out, Mr. Greene himself, joined his fellow bandmates. The stage was decorated with an array of lights and floral arrangements which reflected Washed Out’s recently released album, Paracosm.
For the tour behind the new album, Greene decided to take a full band out on the road with him. Compared to his earlier shows where it was him alone on stage, the band made a huge difference. Each song sounded more energetic and lively, even the older songs like “Feel It All Around”. Tune after tune, the band was locked in and that allowed Greene to show a friendly, engaging persona towards the audience.
Greene managed to put in a handful of old favorites along with the assumed newer songs. The songs ranged from “Despicable Dogs” to “New Theory” and “Amor Fati”. Greene kicked off the set with the latest single, “It All Feels Right”. Other songs from Paracosm were thrown in like “Don’t Give Up”. Washed Up showed great maturity and growth from the days of being a one man bedroom project. There’s no telling what the next step with be for Greene, but based on tonight’s performance I can tell it’ll be a good one.