I needed to get back into the live music scene as it has been weeks since I saw a show. With Helen out of town, I lined up two shows for Friday and Saturday nights. The Saturday show, Wolf Alice, will be great and I’m psyched. The Friday show, Rooney, was more of a “hey, they’re indie and poppy, they’re in town, and it’s better than going to see Wonder Woman.”
Rooney is named after Ed Rooney, the principal in the classic movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. They’ve been around for a while, dating back to a group of LA high school classmates in the late 90s. But the band is really all about Robert Schwartzman, who is the leader of the group. The original band members have gone their separate ways, and what is now touring as Rooney is Schwartzman and a bunch of other guys whom I can’t identify. The Rooney website doesn’t list the touring band members names, and the always-accurate Wikipedia page on the band doesn’t seem completely up-to-date. Here’s a shot of Schwartzman bringing it last night:
I got pretty good shots of the rest of the band, including the bassist, who reminded me of a skinny Seth from Superbad, and the lead guitarist sporting the worst hair this side of Gene Wilder’s in Young Frankenstein. I also got some good shots of the drummer, which doesn’t often happen, and plenty of others of Schwartzman. Take a look:
The show was held at the Foundry in Fishtown. I know that Fishtown, like Hansels in Zoolander, is so hot right now, but it doesn’t take much to find scuzzy in that area. I was trying to get back to Delaware Avenue after the show, and had to take a turn down a cobblestoned street that wound around some abandoned warehouse building. If you’re looking for a place to dump a body, that street might work – everything else seems to be dumped there. Nasty, not nice-ty.
But the venue itself is nice. I’ve hit the Foundry before, as well as its co-located venue, the Fillmore. Both are fairly new (we helped to open the Fillmore at its initial show, Hall and Oates), and they are a good example of historic preservation – they have rehabbed an old structure into something new and cool. The Foundry holds 450 people, but it wasn’t near capacity last night, and so we had ample space and a great location to watch the bands in front of the stage.
Opening for Rooney was Run River North, who put on a good set. We didn’t care for all of their songs, but there were a number that were quite solid. A credible opening act, for sure.
Rooney came out and played all of their most well-known songs – My Heart Beats For You, When Did Your Heart Go Missing – and the band was well-rehearsed and tight. The songs are poppy and catchy. But, but… the band has no edge to it. Yes, they play loud enough and they have everything it takes to be successful, including a charismatic front man who can pen a hook-filled tune. Nonetheless, the lyrics are kind of sappy, and so they attract a harmless crowd (primarily of women) who seem more interested in swooning over Schwartzman than jamming and rocking. The band, to no one’s surprise, delivers what its fan base wants.
The band played about 1.5 hours, didn’t drink beer while playing, and gave a strong effort. While I had a good time, and it was better than acting like a 12-year old boy and going to see some Marvel-comics based garbage from Hollywood, it was a show that I’m not sure I would recommend if you are looking for a great rock ‘n roll experience.
Enough about Rooney, ok? I’m on to thinking about Wolf Alice, who I have seen before and who have a fantastic sound that goes between trippy and grunge. It’s a good combination, and they rock hard. The show is sold out, so I’ll be fighting for space under the lighting. Wish me luck.
I have another show later this week at Union Transfer that I’ll discuss later. I also have a nice report on Shady Dog Records in Berwyn that I’ll get to soon. And, of course, multiple more posts on the whole ticket thing. You gangstas hang in there and enjoy another lovely weekend in the Delaware Valley. I’ll be seeing you very soon, that’s for sure.
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.