by Alyse Horn
With his set dedicated to Joan Rivers, Ron Gallo took the stage Thursday night as the opener for Communion Philadelphia at Underground Arts. Gallo performed songs from his new album American Diamond, such as “Young Lady You’re Scaring Me”. His stage presence and character had a somewhat bluesy, Bob Dylan-esk feel, which he used to completely remaster Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”.
The Levee Drivers’ full-throttle performance after Gallo was a great way to kick the crowd into gear. Their sound was reminiscent of a mixture between The Black Keys and Old Crow Medicine Show. The band performed “Off Them Tracks” and “Tennessee Girl”, while lead singer August John Lutz II debuted a new “slow and miserable” song called “So Long, My Luck”.
When Diane Birch took over for the night, I instantly missed my boyfriend as the love birds around me coupled up to listen to the sensual set. Birch sang a handful of songs, but notably “Superstars” and “Speak A Little Louder”. Some of her sounds were similar to that of Lorde and Lana Del Ray, which the crowd was in to. The underlying bass on her songs gave off a vibration that could be felt throughout ones body, which complimented the melodious vibe of her songs.
Crash of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performed as the second to last set of the night with, what he called, The Holy Trinity. The band played songs promoting the new album Hardly Criminal, and opened their set with the self-titled song. Crash seemed to feel at home in the small venue, and told jokes and stories to the crowd, like the time he freely roamed Camden Aquarium after hours and hung out above the shark tank with a friend. Crash successfully got show attendees to stat dancing around to the twanging and thumping of the bands music, and he even threw in “That’s The Way The World Goes Round” by John Prine for good measure.
TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb were the last performers of the night, playing songs off of their upcoming EP KONG, which will be released September 9th. The band played their songs back to back without stopping, and kept energy high inside the venue. Their sound gave off a retro-rock vibe, but with a modern twist that kept listeners ears perky.
The night was a great showcase for all of the performers to promote their upcoming releases, and each musician complimented the talents of the other artists. Underground Arts is a great venue where fans can freely interact with bands and have an all around good time.