This entire show was based off the bait and switch. It was originally said that this show was $8, or $13 if you wanted the AKAs record, which I didn't. We were also told that there would be free rum and vegan treats. When Heather and I got there, w found Kev wandering Girard Ave with a rum and coke. At least the rum was provided. We did find out that the show was $13 no matter what, and there were no vegan treats. Total bait and switch. Either way, we got there and lots of free rum was consumed by all of my friends. I was still bummed at the lack of vegan treats, but it was a great time for the first hour or so. Around 9, Jena Berlin headed over to the side room to start playing.
I'm going to preface my brief review by saying how much this band bums me out. I love Jena Berlin. As far as Philly bands go, they're easily one of my favorites, and their live shows are some of the best I've seen. Quo Vadimus, their full length from last year, was in my top three records of the year. However, this band is sadly underrated and not given the respect they deserve, even in their hometown.
They opened up with a song from Quo Vadimus, and played about 8 songs. Most of the set was from Quo Vadimus, but they also threw in one from the first record and two new ones. The new songs were great and good to hear, despite the fact that I probably won't hear them recorded for a while. There were lots of tempo changes and dynamic shifts in them. They kept the same sound as the previous songs, but with the evolution that they've come to show over the past few years. I hear they're going on break for a bit, but hopefully they get these songs recorded and put out in the near future.
Aside from the songs played, they sounded really tight, even as a four piece. Their lineup has been changing a lot of late, but they still sound great. Jon's voice sounded really strong and he was all over the place. He was diving all over the crowd and really energetic. Dave's backups were on point, and Jeff was spot on drums. Jesse was playing bass and did a good job, despite I guess being a fill in (maybe? who knows?).
The highlight (or lowlight, depending on how you look at it) came at the end when a ton of diving went on. Unfortunately, a girl in a wheelchair got dove on, and when messing around, another girl got shoved into a wall. This pissed her off enough that she punched Mike in the face, and a small scuffle broke out. Free rum and a wild band will make that happen! All in all, a fun night, and I can't wait to see them with Young Livers this weekend in Maryland.