Philly on a Sunday night is generally B-O-R-I-N-G. But that's better than the Main Line, which is, well, dead. Of course, those are more guidelines than rules, and every once in a while, Sunday's rock. Such was a recent Sunday at the Electric Factory. Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul were in town, and they were here to party. It was a very fun show.
Why would BRP hit this show? There are 4 reasons. F-R-E-E. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like Little Steven, in fact far from it. But we all have to make choices with our greenbacks, and this one, while a little enticing, just didn’t qualify. However, when I was at UA seeing Stiff Little Fingers, they were giving out freebies to guys like me, you know suave rock bloggers that no one has ever heard of (a/k/a any ticketed persons entering the SLF show). I grabbed 4 tickets, and was gone, baby, gone.
FREE doesn’t do justice to the effort that SVZ put into this show. The dude brought a band of 15 people! Five, yes, five! horns. Two percussionists. 3 female backup singers/go – go dancers, boots and wigs and all. Guitars, bass, etc. I’m a sucker for rock bands with big horn sections and go go dancers. [I once saw the Slickee Boys in DC and they had male and female go go dancers – the male was a huge dude, probably of Samoan descent, and he was shaking his tail feathers in a grass skirt like a madman – fun!] And this band was tight, having fun, and blasting out the tunes. We had a very good time. And since no one is out on Sunday nights, we were able to catch 2.5 hours of great rock ‘n soul, and then fly home in order to do The Man’s work the next day with only a minimum of sleep deprivation. That’s living, right there.
I won’t say that I knew a lot of the songs that SVZ played. But there were some tunes that he co-wrote with his Dutch buddy that were instantly recognizable for that Asbury Park sound. And he also took us on a musical tour of different rock styles, from doo-wop to soul to funk to blues to reggae. And he finished with Southside Johnny Lyons’ famous song, I Don’t Wanna Go Home. Yeah, me either. After seeing a show like this, I was reminded of Skynyrd’s lyric from You Got That Right: “I want to drink and dance all night/comes to a fix ain’t afraid to fight/you got that right?” Hells yes, rockers, that’s what I felt like, and I did not want to go home. More rock, please!
The show wasn’t sold out, which made for some nice spacing in the audience, and we were able to get pretty close to the stage. My pictures are decent, but I didn’t shove my way up to the front like I sometimes do. You know I do that just to get good pictures for you, right? Well, that and I also love to be right there, pumping my fist while SLF blasts through Suspect Device or Low Cut Connie tears up Boozophilia. Otherwise, I’m there just for you.
Does anyone know the answer to why SVZ always wears a kerchief? I don’t think he’s bald, which is the normal reason men cover up the dome. I used to think it was kind of cool, and when accompanied by one of those long feathery earrings, gave him sort of a gypsy look. At post-60, however, it begins to look a little odd. I get the “it’s his trademark” sentiment, and maybe that is good enough. Or maybe he does it to keep the sweat from dripping down into his eyes – my face gushes sweat when I’m hot and maybe we share that dubious trait. But if you know the real reason, enlighten us.
There was no opening act. That is good and bad. It’s good because the main event comes out and the party just starts from there. It also usually means that the headliner is going to play a long time. But I’ve recently seen some good opening acts, and I love seeing bands that I don’t know come out and blast their way into my consciousness. I share with you those that I think are worth checking out, and disrespect those that, well, deserve it. It adds to the fun either way.
That is what I did on a Sunday. What did you do? Whatever it was, I hope you had a good time. I missed seeing you there! Let’s look for another Sunday show that is badass and come Monday we can stick it to The Man together and don’t give him the blood and sweat that he usually bullwhips out of us. Are you with me? Of course you are! Everyone hates The Man! See you on Sunday, rockers.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.