by Brittney Corridean
It was hard to even get into to the place; the venue is already intimate in size and on Monday night, it was sardine-can packed with people. The stage is small, but the performers made the best of their space as it was full of instruments.
Bishop Briggs was sporting her classic pigtail buns and army coat for the show. She had lots of energy and had to stop singing to catch her breath at one point from all the dancing and jumping around. Her voice live was incredibly powerful and feminine. She really gave it her all and the audience fed off her energy with cheers and movement. She also performed her two main radio hits “River” and “Wild Horses” and left the stage almost abruptly, but not before thanking the crowd.
There was about a 30-40 minute break between sets and you could feel people getting anxious for Kaleo to come on. Even so that when each of the intermission music tracks ended, they would start applauding and yelling, as if encouraging Kaleo to come out earlier.
Kaleo had a 9:30 start and began the show with a single spotlight on lead singer, Jokull Juliusson. He started whistling (a very impressive whistler might I add) as they opened with “I Can’t Go On Without You”. Just as the rest of the band cut in, more lights came on, bolts of faux lightning flashed on the venue’s dark purple curtains and reflected of the candelabra chandeliers- quite dramatic, but it worked.
Juliusson ended the song in his celebrated, falsetto voice and broke into “Save Yourself” immediately after. He then spoke out to the crowd stating how enthralled he was to have a sell-out at a venue like the TLA on a Monday night. Cut to southern swagger and they began to perform “Broken Bones”.
The band members were all wearing different styles of attire and seemed very focused and intense during the performance. Getting the reputation of somewhat of a sex symbol, Juliusson was rocking a white button down, semi-popped collar and a little chest showing. His guitar was beautiful; tri-colored of red, white and medium-toned wood. All members were very versatile, the bassist went back and forth between that and the keyboards, the drummer came forth for the softer songs to tap on the tambourine and play smaller percussion instruments.
They then played “Automobile” and my personal favorite, “All the Pretty Girls”, which had a slower pace. They then went right back to rocking with “No Good” and “Walk on Water” which I might add, had many members in the audience holding up lighters in admiration- a move I haven’t seen in a while. I appreciated it.
As the concert came to a wrap, they performed “Way Down We Go”. In closing, this is a great act to see live. Juliusson is so talented it should be a crime. The way he pours himself into each song and just flows from one alto to the next is bound to give anyone goosebumps and leave them wanting to hear more. Their acoustics were great and the culmination of the band in general was impressive. I would definitely recommend catching their show next time! Hey, they’ve only been touring for 18 months and already played in 47 states- Philly multiple times! I’d keep a look out.