A tremendous three-band bill wowed a faithful crowd Saturday night at the Electric Factory. Built to Spill and the Afghan Whigs, 1990s-era alt-rock stalwarts, co-headlined, with Rituals of Mine opening with a set of electronic abandon. It was an aural blast from first note to the final encore. Here are photos and highlights from the night.
1. Built to Spill pleased with a mix of new and old.
In its current form, the band is a tight trio of founding frontman Doug Martsch with a rhythm section made up of Steve Gere and Jason Albertini, who joined in 2012. With the band’s most recent album, Untethered Moon, being three years old, the show was devoted to songs from throughout their catalog. With guitar extraordinaire Martsch leading the charge, they hit the sweet spot with songs including “The Plan” and “I Would Hurt a Fly.” Gere’s drums and Albertini’s bass helped sketch the rock abstracts Martsch painted into the early hours of Sunday.
2. “Carry the Zero” ended the evening in a grand fashion.
The 1999 track that uses math as metaphor (“Didn’t add up/ Forgot to carry a zero”) gave Martsch ample opportunity to show off how the aesthetics of the 1990s still sound awesome today.
3. The Afghan Whigs brought their bluesy-soul rock to life.
Frontman Greg Dulli, bathed in a cloak of blue and purple light for most of the set, took Philly for a ride dominated by 2017’s In Spades. Performing with remaining founding member John Curley and a cast of solid musicians, including guest singer Steve Myers, Dulli excited the crowd with new songs like “Arabian Heights” and the classic “Debonair,” which appeared early on in the set.
4. Fantastic duo Rituals of Mine opened the night.
With Terra Lopez singing powerfully from a near pitch-black stage and Adam Pierce drumming, the Rituals of Mine set was a hypnotic, danceable electronic explosion. Seeing this band grow from their earlier incarnation as Sister Crayon to commanding this large setting is a joy. I cannot wait to see and hear what is next.