After last month’s collaborative release of Lotta Sea Lice, local crust grunge apostle Kurt Vile and slightly less-local Aussie deadpan rambler Courtney Barnett brought their slacker supergroup to the halls of Upper Darby’s Tower Theater. Here are some photos and highlights.
1. “Over Everything” opener
Once they took the stage, the pair didn’t waste any time before jumping into their album’s kickoff track, the hypnotically infectious single, “Over Everything.” Volleying each of their drollingly wistful verses before spiraling into a wily outro of twangy, textured layers of guitar, they set just the right tone for the night.
2. Solo “covers”
The setlist was evenly divided between Lotta Sea Lice tracks and favorites from each singer’s respective solo catalogue—standouts including Vile’s recent sleeper hit “Pretty Pimpin’” and the apathetically rollicking Barnett anthem, “Avant Gardner.” The most frugal of the night’s flannel-clad fans had to walk away content, knowing they effectively bagged a 3-for-1 indie rock bargain on the ticket bill.
3. The city’s biggest hangout
The whole venue felt like it was teeming with a kind of warm, affable energy—from fans’ friendly shouts to the backing band members (“Hi, Stella-on-drums!”) and even surprise little echoes of birthday wishes to Courtney floating from the back of the house. The night seemed like less of a stop on a concert tour and more like a packed house show of old buddies that accidentally overbooked and wound up in a 3,000-plus-seat amphitheater.
4. Ringing in Courtney’s 30th birthday
Fans weren’t the only ones with their calendars marked for Courtney. Toward the end of the encore break, friends of the band rushed the stage with giant foil balloons spelling out “30” and “CB,” with Kurt leading a theater-wide chorus of “Happy Birthday to You” just before the band closed out the night.