Underground Arts, Philadelphia, PA— Some stray notes:
- Upchuck’s frontwoman is a powerful performer, but part of her schtick is taking swigs of water or beer and spraying them from her mouth onto the audience. Punk rock abandon or not, I’m astonished anyone doesn’t understand how the events of the past two years have made that kind of behavior 1,000 percent unacceptable.
- Not to say any of their songs are bad, but Amyl and the Sniffers’ set list made me realize how much I prefer their first record to their second. I needed to hear “Starfire 500,” but alas, it never came. But wow, what a force Amy Taylor is. Her tiny frame radiates good vibes, she’s at 11 from start to finish, and her performance feels so genuine. This was the second to last stop on their tour, and no one in the band showed any signs of fatigue. Maybe it’s square to say so, but I hope it’s a natural high.
- Middle age has left me with fewer show buddies than ever, and like most shows, I went to this one by myself. I’m used to it, but anymore it feels like the boredom between sets needs the sets themselves to be that much better to make it worth it. Maybe that’s because the pandemic fucked up my rhythm, or maybe it’s because I’m in a creatively fertile mode lately and I’m more protective of my time. But eavesdropping on my neighbors’ conversations or catching up on reading isn’t quite cutting through the loneliness anymore. The entirely unnecessary 30 minutes between bands at this particular show (sell those beers, I guess) didn’t help.