While roof top parties and BBQs seemed to be the trend for Memorial Weekend partiers, a small selection of people attended a “secret” show at Gold Leaf Art Studios in Chinatown Sunday night. Four bands, two local and two from Philadelphia, played for an incredibly intimate audience on the second floor of the warehouse space.
I arrived just in time for the second act, Jubilee. This local folk duo had the most portable set-up. For drums, Bryan had an odd arrangement of kitchen pots, as well as a tom-tom wrapped up in fabric. The metallic clinks of the pots made for an amusing beat throughout their heartfelt songs. Amy, the other member, sang many of the songs and also played banjo on a few numbers. Their songs were quirky and honest, with nonsensical and fun lyrics. During “I Just Want to go to Sleep”, the two sang about all the random distractions one comes about when trying to sleep.
Afterward, Elliott Harvey set up to perform his project, A Stick and a Stone. On tour from Philadelphia with Signals, the two groups of musicians decided to do a combination performance. Harvey performed a few songs by himself and had accompaniment on keyboards from Paul, the guitarist of Signals, throughout his set. Harvey also sang and drummed on some of Signal’s songs.
For the most part, Harvey used a boss loop pedal, creating beautiful vocal and instrumental layers. He sang in a high register, with a soft tone that sounded almost lamentable at times. Each song told an intimate story and seemed personal, like a journal entry. Signals, led by keyboardist and vocalist Anthony Cesa, shifted the acoustic-like evening into a more electric and energetic mood. Using analog synthesizers, Cesa’s playing, along with Paul’s distorted guitar licks, sounded like an explosion of bleeping laser guns.