Indie rockers, Philadelphia Eagles fans and general do-gooders all lined up outside the Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Friday night for a show filled with hometown pride and charitable intentions. All proceeds earned from tickets, merch, silent auction and other donations were to be matched by the Make The World Better Project, and put towards the revitalization of Ralph Brooks Park in South Philly. Those who paid extra admission costs got the chance to go backstage to meet the bands and a few Philadelphia Eagles, including host of the night Connor Barwin. Before local hero Kurt Vile took the stage, a few friends stopped by to entertain the packed house.
Though the Tontons, from Houston,TX, were the only non-locals to perform, their confidence wasn’t the least bit shaken. They had worked on material in Philly before, and made sure to share their admiration for the city with the crowd. Frontwoman Asli Omar’s stage presence was impossible to ignore as she moved and posed with aggressive fluidity. The band’s set was mostly made up of cuts from their Makeout King And Other Stories Of Love release, but they also made sure to cover some of their older tunes such as Golden from their EP of the same name.
With one of the fastest break-down/set-up times ever accomplished on stage, indie rock ‘n’ rollers the Districts wasted no time warming up and treated the stage like a playground throughout their incredibly energetic set. While there were plenty of fans around who could sing along with each song, Long Distance elicited the greatest response. Home field advantage certainly helps, but if sets like this are any indication of what these fresh-out-of-highschoolers can accomplish, we’ll be seeing much more of them in the future.
Finally, Kurt Vile and the Violators stepped into the spotlight, and kicked off their set with an air tight performance of Wakin On A Pretty Day. Through various guitar switches (between each song, actually) and instrumental rotations, Vile and the crew maintained slacker-type charisma that perfectly complimented each hazy song. Right around 11:45, curfew was brought up, which made for a nice joke or two from Vile. Though the cacophonic Freak Train provided the greatest sonic thrills of the set, the moment of the night has to be awarded to when Vile and the rest of the band came out for an encore and were each given personalized Eagles jerseys. Score!