Circle of Hope (Back room)
I'd never been to a show in the back room at Circle of Hope. It's a ton smaller than the first room, but definitely a good space for a smaller show. The lights were out, and the only thing illuminating the room for most of the show was a few strands of white Christmas lights. It sounded decent, and despite my original thoughts that the "stage" set up was awkward, it actually allowed for a good semi circle to form around the band and everyone was packed in nicely.
Kick Rocks played first. They're the new pop punk band from Peter (Algernon, Peter & Craig, Velouria, P4, etc) and Craig (Elder, Towers, every band ever). They sounded pretty decent, although some of the lead lines sounded a bit off. They had three different vocalists, with good harmonies and slightly out of key pop punk vocals. The songs were short, but they strung them together well, and it was a solid set, which I think may have been their first. Since it's Peter and Craig, expect multiple split 7"s and cassettes and shows in weird places often. I'd check em out again.
Erin Tobey played a solo set next. She's the girl who joined Pink Razors last year (or before? I forget), and the set was just her singing and playing guitar, and the other guitarist from the Razors playing bass. Really, this wasn't my thing, and I just headed outside after a few songs to hang out with some people.
I'm thinking about changing this to zigaband.blogspot.com, because I feel like I write an entry about a Jeff Ziga band at least every other entry. This was another Amateur Party set, and much better than the last one. They opened with "Public Utility Complaint" and ended with "Sounds and Halls to House Them" and "Gun Fever," and filled the rest of the set with new songs. I'm getting bummed that they're not recorded yet, and it will be a while since Steve is going on tour with Off Minor for a few months. Anyway, other than a bit of good natured heckling from Mike and Kev, some of which threw McKee of his banter game, this was a really good set and I was happy to hear it. It seems like they'll be inactive for about three months, so hopefully my next Ziga entry will be Armalite (!) or AAJ (!!).
Pink Razors set up quickly and started with "Disapproval Rating" and immediately I could tell that they sounded better than the last time I saw them (at the Fest). Ever since their lineup shakeup, I've been hit or miss on these guys. I miss the gruffness of the singer that left, but sets like this one really turned it around for me. They played a handful of songs off of the LP and their EPs, but they also tested out a bunch of new songs, which they'll be recording with Steve Roche as I type this. Definitely sweet! They played "Sew it Seems" which is still a great song, no matter how many times I hear it. Hopefully they'll resume the "playing Philly every 6 weeks schedule" that they were on for a while, and I'll see them turn in more quality sets like this one.