Masterful sounds brimmed from Union Transfer Monday night, during a co-headlining show between Waxahatchee and Hurray for the Riff Raff. Check out some photos and highlights from the night below.
1. Katie Crutchfield is a star.
Philadelphia’s own Waxahatchee put out quite possibly their best record to date when they dropped Out in the Storm in 2017. The edged breathiness of lead singer Crutchfield’s voice matched with her expert guitar work makes for an awesome one-two rock punch to the soul. And with sister Allison Crutchfield joining on keys and guitar, the spaces within the swift songs were all the more tighter and dynamic. Katie will hold court at the mic and wander into the shadows and light, as her music often does, losing herself in a moment of hair-toss reverie.
2. The song highlight was…
“Sparks Fly.” Lyrics like “I take it back, I was never alone/ My censored thoughts, mild and monotone” mix perfectly with the guitar strums that open the song. Giving voice to the wandering soul, it brings brings to the forefront thoughts that we’re all familiar with—and it sounded all the more profound in the spacious Union Transfer.
3. Alynda Segarra is charisma personified.
There aren’t many band leaders as captivating and stirring as Segarra. Hurray for the Riff Raff began their set with three songs that featured her on guitar. From there, she put the instrument down, picked up the mic and finished the show in a more intimate style that spotlighted her and her four band members. A banner reading “We‘re all in this together” hung over head as they charged through several songs from my favorite album of 2017, The Navigator, which, like a lot of new music out these days, is rife with lyrics that have a socially conscious undertone, promoting a message of community and hope in these trying times.
4. Oh, “Pa’lante”
If one Hurray for the Riff Raff song stood out Monday night, it was this one from The Navigator, which beats with a rousing message of being “something” at its core. “Colonized, and hypnotized, be something/ Sterilized, dehumanized, be something,” Segarra uttered, as she stared into the crowd, pointing at the audience and the world. It is a life-affirming and supercharged demand for everyone to achieve their dreams; an apt chant for the 21st century.
5. Bedouine began the night with a solo set of folk.
With only a guitar, a candle and a soft, inquisitive voice, Azniv Korkejian, who performs under the stage name Bedouine, poured forth the truths of existence right now in the world. The Syrian-born performer was a stellar start to a knockout night of music.