Whoever thought that I would be writing that headline? For those of you who are local, you know the Main Line is a great place for housing, schools and environmental beauty all within a short drive of Philly. But it can be sleepy.
Not so anymore. While Ardmore has long had live music (now in the form of the Ardmore Music Hall), Wayne has joined the club with 118 North. We got a crew to check it out last Friday, and it was ballin'. Live music in Wayne? Who knew?
We caught a band called AM Radio, which bills itself as a 60s and 70s cover act. They also dabbled in some stuff from the 50s. They dressed in retro hippie gear, and were generally tight and accomplished. The crowd was digging it, and lots of people were up and grooving. Photos? I thought you would never ask!
How about 118 North as a venue? We didn't eat there, but they seem to serve a lot of tater tots. Plenty of drinks at the bar, and typical pricing. It was all of $5 for the cover, which even BRP can afford on the paltry amounts that he earns from The Man. Not bad.
The club somewhat resembles the Ardmore Music Hall. The bar is on the left (although, thankfully, not a semicircular layout like at AMH, so it's not blocking half the club). There are tables and high tops when you enter the club, with the stage at the back. Unfortunately, the restrooms are behind the stage, and the stage is right next to the door for the kitchen. So there are waiters and those needing relief constantly back and forth by the stage. And expect lines at the restroom as the facilities are very limited. The stage is fine, albeit small, and it could be higher for those in the back. Importantly, sound and lighting are terrific. A couple of us commented that the acoustics were really good, which is really something given that most of us can barely hear anymore.
There was plenty of room to dance during this show - I just sharpened my elbows before I left the house and my moves had a remarkably wide penumbra all night. But it's unclear how the SRO crowd will be when there is a sold-out performance. Parking? Well, it's Wayne, so you might have to hunt for a bit, but it's cheap, and if you have to walk, well, what do you do in Philly? At least you are on the Main Line and not stepping in the city's plentiful broken glass, and you don't sweat out whether or not your car will be damaged or stolen while you are inside.
As for AM Radio, they were entertaining enough. They played an eclectic mix of songs, everything from the Beatles (yes, they did play BRP's long-time favorite, I Saw Her Standing There), to Three Dog Night to Nancy Sinatra (but they didn't punk up These Boots Are Made For Walking, a missed opportunity for sure). They got into sap - California Dreaming - yeah, we're all dreaming of sky-high taxes, crappy schools, dodging aggressive pan-handlers, and sitting in traffic - and also played some trippy stuff, like Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, which is kind of hard to dance to (but I did it - marching seemed to work!), and the Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense and Peppermints. The band seemed a touch slow all night, but they played the songs true to how you remember them from, well, AM radio. And the crowd was of an age that they remembered every word, and enjoyed hearing live versions of these songs while they danced around. It was very fun.
The Kid got home late. I had a blast catching up with a lot of Radnor friends, and I've already started spreading the word that, yes, there is live music in Wayne. You ought to check it out yourself. Here's a link to 118 North's Facebook site, which has info about who is playing, and includes step-by-step instructions on how to give up your privacy so that Mark Zuckerberg can sell your personal information and get even richer - remember, at Facebook, YOU are the product! Here ya go:
I noticed that most of the upcoming bands are local/regional, and the cover charges are modest to reflect that reality. But there is at least one national act coming, The Skatalites. Who knows how this will all shake out, but for now, it's a nice addition to the local scene.
Hey, Main Liners, the other key thing to note is that this year's version of the Wayne Music Festival is Saturday, June 9. XPN is co-sponsoring. You know I'll be there because it's FREE. Here's the website link - note that the lineup will be announced in the spring.
It wouldn't be BRP if I didn't leave you with at least one tune. Here's Cut Your Hair from Pavement, complete with a silly video:
Rockers, I'm getting ready to launch into a nice stretch of live music, and I'll be faithfully reporting back to you on the shows. We're going to start HUGE, and move quickly through a bunch of fantastic acts. Psyched? Me, too. It's been a long stretch since I've seen a national act, and I am ready.
Over and out.
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.