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December 15th

(This year I went to 5 live shows. This is kind of my thing right now as a penance for over ten years of stealing music. Here’s how I ranked them)


The satisfaction of getting tickets on the cheap charity.

Location: North Star Bar, Philadelphia. December 12th.

Whirring (Live) by thejoyformidable

Here’s what should have been a perfect storm. There were no openers to suffer through. The venue is tiny. Even the dreaded traffic from my office to Philly was a non-issue. And yet, it’s ranked #5.

They were not bad. In fact, they were as awesome as I expected them to be. They didn’t sound like the Sound Cloud above, but still a solid performance. However, one fatal flaw almost killed the experience for me.

The crowd was lame.

North Star Bar is slightly larger than the bar adjacent. Still, I I go up the rankings, this not even the smallest venue. Since this was an all-age event, there were a lot of teenagers. But this particular crowd was about as pumped as Japanese tourists in a guided tour of MoMa. This was most obvious when The Joy Formidible decided to add a lot of pauses to it’s set. Let’s just say the water cooler in my office made more noise during this time.

This would have probably worked when they were opening for Foo Fighters in basketball arenas, but even Ritzy Bryan, the lead singer, complimented on our politeness. It’s a perfectly acceptable compliment at a 2nd grade dance recital, not a rock concert.

Nonetheless, I witnessed one of the better jam sessions of the year. If I had a few more drinks (all age show, so beer at the bar), I could have tapped into their energy and not be self-conscious. They turned ‘Whirring’ (my current ringtone) into a 10 minute drum and bass thriller, which finished out the show around 9.

Perfect for a work day.

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