Tapes N’ Tapes is a band that we have been waiting to catch for a while, and they blew the doors off Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday night. Johnny Brenda’s is our favorite venue in Philly. The intimate setting and mix of good beer and great sound makes for memorable shows. And this one even topped last year’s stand out performances from Battles and Holy Fuck at the venue.
The set featured a great mix of songs from both of their full length records, The Loon and Walk It Off. They even showcased two new songs that seamlessly fit into the 15-song set. The second new track, tentatively titled “Hideeho!” according to the set list that I snatched up, was probably the highlight of the show. Lead singer and guitarist Josh Grier mentioned he was under the weather and his voice might be off, but I would never have noticed. He sounded flawless as they opened the set with a tight rendition of “George Michael.”
One of the most notable aspects of the show was the sheer energy and power of the songs from the quartet. Drummer Jeremy Hanson, who joined the band in 2005 while still a senior in high school, is the glue that curates the raw power of Grier’s ever-changing riffs. Altering between traditional sticks and drum mallets, Hanson gives the band a sonic tightness that makes start/stop songs like “In Houston” so powerful. His jazz/rock drumming style mixes well with Matt Kretzman’s keyboards and the occasional trumpet.
As always the sound at Brenda’s was mixed perfectly, while still allowing the band to show off some of its rawness in songs like “The Dirty Dirty” and “Headshock.” Tapes N’ Tapes sounded even better live than on their records, and the LPs are fierce. I can imagine this is what Modest Mouse might have sounded like back in 1998 while also touring for their second full record The Lonesome Crowded West.
After hearing the new songs, anticipation for their 3rd record has begun. This is a band that you don’t want to miss while they are still playing such intimate shows at places like Johnny Brenda’s with a capacity of only 300. Don’t miss this band on their next tour. The sheer force and energy of the songs was simply awe-inspiring. Another great night at Johnny Brenda’s, and another amazing show.
The band is wrapping up the tour this week and have video blogged their travels on their YouTube page. Below is the one from Philly:
Tapes N’ Tapes – Hang Em All