Photos by Oliver Lopena
Holy freakin’ awesome duo of female-fronted ampersand bands!!! Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside performed at Underground Arts in Philly on 3/23. Both bands are just about wrapping up their tour together before heading back west – you can see the list of their remaining tour dates here. Before I go any further, just a quick note about the venue: I likes it… I likes it a lot. As a venue, Underground Arts serves up a double entendre of awesome being that it is a multi-purpose space intended to feature emerging/underground artists and performers AND it is quite literally underground (located in the basement of the Wolf building on 12th and Callowhill). Definitely check it out if you get a chance… FYI, Here We Go Magic is playing there this Thursday, 3/28.
Anyways, the audience showed up early to catch Sallie Ford, et al tear through most of the tracks from their recently released sophomore LP Untamed Beast. Their style is good ole’ fashioned rock and roll of the rockabilly persuasion, but don’t let Sallie’s demure appearance fool you… she belts out clever (and very often racy) lyrics like a bad mamma jamma (see a live performance video of “I Swear” from the show here). FYI, you can currently stream Untamed Beast in its entirety on SoundCloud or, alternately, listen to both of their LPs on Spotify. Watch their official music video for “Party Kids” here.
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s recently released LP We The Common is currently in the running for my top album of the year, so I was excited to finally be able to catch them perform live. As a string multi-instrumentalist myself, I squealed when Thao put down her guitar and picked up her banjo to perform “Holy Roller”. The band treated the audience to songs new and old, but played through most of We The Common. They closed out their set with “We The Common (For Valerie Bolden)” before returning for an encore of “Body” and a cover of The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (joined on stage by Sallie Ford). Amazing stuff. FYI, do yourself a favor and listen to We The Common in its entirety on Spotify. Also, below is a live performance video of Thao, et al performing “We The Common (For Valerie Bolden)” during a KEXP session. I think it is pretty much the best thing ever.
Keep scrolling to see more photos from the show.