Last night, I headed out to my current favorite spot for shows in Philadelphia, West Philly’s Golden Tea House to catch locals The Holy Mess. I was running really late (I got in from NYC at 6am that morning after being out all night for a friend’s birthday, so I was moving in slow motion), but so was the show. Not a bad turnout for a Sunday night, and the place was decently filled when I walked in during Timeshares last song.
I’ve never heard of these Pittsburgh indie punks before, but the band was on a 4 day tour and features members of Anti-Flag. They had amp troubles before their set, but they kept the banter going while that was being taken care of before kicking into one of their experimental pop-punk anthems. Featuring 3 guitarists, bassist, drummer, keyboards (who occasionally busted out the trumpet and tambourine), and a huge pedal board, White Wives was really big on the ambiance of their music.
They played pop-punk similar to The Menzingers and Iron Chic, but added to it with their expansive sound. This time of music is sort of a grower for me, but they definitely had some catchy songs and a pretty solid presence with by the end of their set they were smashing equipment and diving off their amps in the small kitchen. Not really my style of music, but they made it entertaining.
The Holy Mess:
The kitchen cleared out some when White Wives were done, I’m not sure if it’s because people were there solely for them or if it’s just because the show was running pretty late for a Sunday night Golden Tea House show, but no matter, there were still plenty who stuck around to see local Philly shit shows The Holy Mess.
I’ve been a fan and have seen them play basements, warehouses, and bars throughout Philly a bunch of times over the years, but this was the first time I was ever seeing them as a 3 piece band. I didn’t realize that they’ve come out with a new album over the summer, so I didn’t know the majority of songs that were played, but the new songs sounded tight.
In typical Holy Mess fashion, they didn’t really have much of a setlist as much of a discussion after each song about what they should play amongst themselves, even doing a No Use For A Name cover on a whim much to the guitarist’s protest. Playing what would be their last show of 2014, I didn’t hear anything before Cande Ru Las Degas, and not sure if it’s because they just didn’t feel like playing it or because it’s tough to do as a 3 piece. Regardless, the band put on a solid set, and I’ll definitely have to check out the new stuff.