photos and review by Alexandra Healey
Having never been to Boot and Saddle in South Philly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show featuring Philly’s own, Rozes with headliner Max Frost. Most people were already drinking since it was Cinco De Mayo and they were all in a good mood.
Elizabeth Mencal (AKA Rozes) went on stage with her drummer, Benny. She wore a crown full of roses that matched her sparkly rose-decorated microphone stand. Rozes began her set by saying “I’m home” before opening with the song “Desirable”. Most people in the crowd seemed to be friends or family supporting her, while a few were fans. Three fans actually drove up from Delaware after just learning about her music. You could hear the rawness in her voice when she sung and she moved with ease as her drummer was on the side, feeling the music more than anyone else. Most of those who were familiar with her sang along and others tapped their feet. Rozes played some new music before playing the popular “Roses” track. She then finished her set with one of her most popular songs “R U Mine” before stepping off stage and meeting her friends and family.
It seemed like as the stage was getting changed for Max Frost’s, the room completely changed as well. People I didn’t see before now crowded the front of the room waiting excitedly for Frost to play. Not being familiar with his music, I was curious at all the instruments placed with thought on stage. To my surprise, when Max Frost began, all the instrument were his and he was actually a one-man band.
At first, it seemed like he was nervous, since it was his first headlining show. Beginning his set with “$Dreams”, he seemed very focused on his bass and keyboard. But once he moved to the next song, “Blind Fool”, he stared to relax a little bit and get more comfortable with the crowd. The crowd cheered him on and moved to his music, especially to “Withdrawal”, a song that made those around me start dancing with their partners or friends.
Towards the middle of his set, he made being a one-man band look easy. Playing a guitar and bass at the same time, while adding beat with his drums and singing as well. He slowed down with his song “Let Me Down Easy” even though it was almost hard to hear him over the crowd. He went through the rest of his set with talent and without difficulty before ending the night with “Die Young” and his most popular song “White Lies”.
He was met by his fans as he walked off stage, everyone telling him how wonderful he was. Others grabbed another drink at the bar and cheerfully went on with their night. I left the venue feeling good and checked off seeing a one-man band from my list.