by Jaz Bowens
Communion Club Nights in Philadelphia is one of my favorite nights. After consecutively bringing amazing bands to Philadelphia since October, Communion set the bar high for themselves ever since the first club night at Johnny Brenda’s. Now over at Underground Arts, they kept the ball rolling with December’s installment just a few days ago that combined merry Christmas cheer, charity, and amazing performances.
For anyone who has been following Communion since it landed in America, I think we can all agree that this has been the best yet! I can only speak for myself and the performances in Philadelphia when I say December’s Communion was top of the line. The lineup? Perfectly paired. The sound, atmosphere, and skill executed on stage from ALL bands…surprisingly refreshing!
The rain didn’t deter people from coming out. Although it was a much smaller crowd than November’s show it was still a sizable attendance. The first on stage was Ali Wadsworth. Philadelphia’s love affair with Ali had people making sure they came early so they didn’t miss her set. The bouncer even commented by saying I shouldn’t miss her performance. With a cute black dress on and her lavender hair swaying as she wowed the audience, she sang songs from her debut self-titled album (released Oct. 6). She also sang a Christmas classic, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.
With seven bands and two stages, things can get a little confusing but I had a better handle on navigating between the two stages this time around. Former Belle was next on the second stage. The three piece band from Philadelphia has a smooth mellow temperament and a guitar that carried the band’s sound. They are diverse- one song can be light while the next song they play is rocking hard. Very interesting with a unique sound. Check them out on Bandcamp. Their album, Cathedral, was released in February, 2013.
Mo Lowda & the Humble were on the main stage. Another Philadelphia band that represented well. They sounded almost seamless as if only their CD, Curse The Weather, was playing instead. The album was released in September and it has been getting rave reviews. I haven’t of them before their performance, but I’m now a fan. Aside from their own tunes, they played Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Linus and Lucy”, one of my favorite Christmas songs, and put their very own spin on it. They did the song justice. Learn more about Mo Lowda & The Humble on Facebook and on Bandcamp. Or, check out one of That Mag‘s interviews with them here.
Back on the back stage was Lucy Stone, not to be mistaken for the American suffragist and abolitionist, @LucyStoneMusic is a Philadelphian maneuvering her way through the music scene and I think she has what it takes. I’ve never heard of her music before her Communion performance and I like her sound- upbeat, almost dance music and some slower songs. She has a three-song EP titled Would You?. You can listen to her music, learn more about her, and watch her videos on her website.
Rosco Bandana, Rosco Bandana, Rosco Bandana. Remember that name and make sure you take any chance you get to see them live! The seven member band hailing from Gulfport, Mississippi did their thang. Yes, THANG! They played non-stop. Each song flowed into the other and each song came equipped with a generous break down. They played their instruments like they could do it asleep and blindfolded, playing effortlessly. Rosco Bandana is a rock band that takes you back to rock from the 60s/70 with a blue grass/country blend. Think, The Who, The Doors and Traffic mixed with some Jerry Reed. Everyone was energetic on stage and really into playing, getting screams, whistles, and endless applause after their set. It was well deserved. Even if rock isn’t your thing, you have to give respect when it’s due because this band really killed it. Their album, Time To Begin, has my personal favorite, “Woe is Me”. I highly recommend you check them out and keep a look out for new music from them. Like them on Facebook, watch their music videos on YouTube, and follow them on Twitter. Check out their website, too.
Song Dogs were back on the second stage as Brown Sugar, covering The Rolling Stones, simultaneously played the main stage. The crowd dwindled down by time they played but it’s a shame they missed those two performances. I wish they had played one after the other and not during the same time because they each deserved our undivided attention. Song Dogs is a indie-rock band from Philadelphia with a new album titled Wild Country. Their album does sound like it has elements of country with more of a twinge of rock. During the Dogs, Brown Sugar were doing the same- rocking out. Their median age had to be about 40 and they were all over the stage, getting the crowd going wild. This band sounded like the legit, authentic Rolling Stones.
Once again Communion put on a great show. The best in my opinion. If you haven’t been to a Communion Show, I highly recommend them. You won’t be disappointed. I’m looking forward to what January has in store. Stay tuned and check out the Communion Philadelphia page on Facebook.