Have you ever been to Boot ‘n Saddle, the South Broad Street club? It’s the one with the silly but sweet cowboy motif up front, and the music venue in the back that is about the size of a suburban two-car garage. Well, I’ve been there a good number of times now, and I’m getting to really like it. It’s not perfect: Parking can be spotty and you are in the strange nether world between Center City and South Philly. But the venue itself is tiny, sports cheesy but also kinda cool decorations, and has really good acoustics. And more and more bands that I want to see are popping up there. Think Protomartyr. Think Ex Hex.
On Monday night, it was Ex Hex’s turn to rock the joint. I got lucky and grabbed a super sweet free parking space about half a block away, and then doubled down and nabbed a nice little spot right up by the stage. The show was sold out, and I found out that that means 200 people had tickets. I think I’ve had more people at my kid’s birthday parties before.
Ex Hex is an all-female trio out of DC, ye olde stomping grounds for BRP. I know that it’s probably sexist to mention their sex, but it is still unusual for a band to be comprised solely of women, so I thought it was a salient fact to point out. Deal with it.
And these women can ROCK. There is no candy-assed singer-songwriter stuff going on here. Nope. This is hook-filled, guitar solo filled, pounding rhythm section filled, rock songs. I got some great pictures of the band at play, and am generously sharing with you the hand-picked cream of the crop. Check these out:
Love those outfits, right? And the attitude! I knew they would bring it as I had seen them the last time they rolled into Philly. That was also scheduled for the Boot but ended up being moved to Union Transfer because of ticket demand. This time, they stayed at the Boot, and the Kid was all over it.
Ex Hex blasted through some of their best tunes, and they did it at volume. These ladies like it LOUD. Right out of the gate, they cranked into Don’t Wanna Lose, and as the smile hit my face, I knew it was going to be a really good night. That rocker was followed up by a bunch of other great songs: Beast, Waste Your Time, You Fell Apart, How You Got That Girl, Radio On, and more. We also got a good preview of the band’s upcoming release, and the new tunes have me licking my chops for that album.
I needed a show to restore my faith in rock ‘n roll, and Ex Hex did it. Ryan and I had had a bad spell there for a bit, but this time we were the beneficiaries of a great rock concert. Energy, powerful songs, tight musicianship, and a band playing at the top of its game and having fun. All done in a tiny venue and at high volume. Aaaahhhhh, I’m so back, baby!
And as good as Ex Hex was, they brought along another band that merits some attention: EZTV. Out of New York, they played poppy tunes that were reminiscent of The Byrds, The La’s, and other mellow pop bands with a penchant for vocal harmonies, they were a solid opener. Sure, they have some work to do to elevate their game, but the talent is clearly there, and the songwriting is solid with original takes on derivative sounds. And Ex Hex was generous and let the boys play for about 45 minutes so that we could see a good range of their music. Yes, I know that it can be dangerous to give an opener that kind of time since openers often suck, but in this case it worked. They even did a good cover of the Pretenders Brass in Pocket. These guys might prove to be a keeper. And I’ve got the pictures to prove it!
So what’s next? Funny you should ask. A sold out show is coming up at Union Transfer on Tuesday, and BRP has tickets. Car Seat Headrest should be terrific fun, and I’ll be there with the camera in hand and the earplugs jammed in.
Oh, and I might bring the GoPro if I don’t forget it and it’s charged up. Did I tell you about my last adventure with BRP videos? Remember all the good things I said about Taylor Swift? Well, I took two videos at the show and popped them up on the BRP YouTube channel. Just to be clear, I don’t make one red cent on those videos – I do it just for kicks. Anyway, Ms. Swift had those videos taken down in about 12 hours – I kid you not – and YouTube chastised me for potential copyright violations. I had to take a copyright quiz and was told that my channel might come down if I have two more violations in the next 6 months. Here’s my take on all that. Taylor Swift is going to squeeze EVERY LAST PENNY that she can out of her loving fans. Maybe the real TS is kind of nasty. Maybe I should believe the tabloids. Hmmm, it’s food for thought, monsters.
And the worst part is that this is a rock ‘n roll blog at heart, and she is Taylor Swift, an artist that is most definitely not rock ‘n roll. What was I thinking? The rock gods looked down on BRP and said “schlecht!” and “verboten!” and directed smote at me. I have no idea why the rock gods cursed me in German, but it’s a severe and guttural language and those words stung. If only they could speak in a lilting and lovely sounding language, like Chinese, it might not sting so badly. But message received!
Check back soon for the Car Seat Headrest review. And listen to some good tunes, enjoy the lovely fall weather, cheer for the Hokies, and keep on keepin’ on. I’m dragging The Man around me wherever I go these days, like some sort of leach or tick sucking my blood, but I’m not going to let him stop me from enjoying this great life. He ain’t heavy, he’s just The Man. I hope you are keeping your own version of The Man at bay. And with that, here’s a sweet and heartfelt digital hug for you from all of us here at BRP – come back for even more love! XOXO.
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.