By Brittney Corridean
Kaleo, the Icelandic band that has been making waves in the US music scene since late 2014, had a sold-out show this Tuesday at The Foundry. Every square inch was filled with spectators on edge with anticipation. It was obvious just by looking at the crowd that everyone was excited to see how the band would perform live. Their expectations were about to be exceeded.
The Foundry is the smaller upstairs room at one of Philly’s newest venues, The Fillmore. Both spaces have already played host to a number of superb shows, and Philly music fans have warmly embraced the Fishtown addition. Once you go up the tall stairway that takes you into The Foundry, the small stage is directly to your left and a rectangular bar stands in the center. On the sides are small seats/booths and along the walls/ceiling are vintage bulb lined-lights, with just enough radiance to give off a relaxed atmosphere.
Opening the evening was a wonderful performance from Firekid. For most of the set, it was just the lead guitarist and vocalist backed by a drummer, which actually fit well on the condensed stage. You may know their song “Magic Mountain” which has a catchy, addictive rhythm. The players had good synergy and had everyone tapping and nodding in rhythm.
In between sets you could see a number of people coming out and switching/adding the instruments for Kaleo’s set. It was kind of impressive how quickly and effortlessly it seemed considering the small space that they had.
Kaleo stole the room’s attention as soon as they stepped onstage. The band consists of Jokull Juliusson on guitar, Rubin Pollock on lead guitar, Davio Antonsson on percussion and Daniel Kristjansson on bass. Honestly, Juliusson’s vocal range is insanely amazing. The way he goes from light and airy to deep and sultry; it’s inevitable that any listener will get goosebumps and be entranced by the lyrics pouring out of his mouth.
You can tell the band is 100% engaged during the performance and really feed off one another throughout the show. It was truly engaging to see them work together to create all these different sounds in such a finite amount of time. Their harmonies were on point and transitioned smoothly from one song to the next.
The songs that were played had an array of sounds going from blues to folk to indie rock. One of my personal favorites, “I Can’t Go On Without You”, is a deep and soulful tune that penetrates directly to the listener. It’s hard to not feel the empathy in the vocals and cry of the guitar.
The falsetto lyric, light and whimsical “All the Pretty Girls” left the audience in a lullaby trance that was quite beautiful to witness. Each and every song had a different impact on the crowd as unique as the strums and hums creating it. “Way Down We Go” had everyone swaying and singing along to the easily understood lyrics.
Towards the end of the show it was hard to believe how quickly the time went by. It’s as if their songs send a message to just relax and linger in the moment of truly great music, and it’s quite likely you will do just that. After leaving the show it was a little haunting how touching and heartfelt it was. Kaleo was a phenomenal live band, and it will be no surprise when they go on to sell out bigger venues.