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Concert Review: Mom Jeans. / Just Friends / awakebutstillinbed / Retirement Party @ Union Transfer
by Sophie Pastore

On Halloween, I trekked down to Union Transfer in Philadelphia for yet another concert. My friends convinced me the day before to drive down to see Mom Jeans. with them! I didn't have any other Halloween plans and I had an unplanned Arthur costume, so I was down for the adventure. In my usual fashion, I didn't plan this trip very well and we missed Retirement Party, what was a shame because I was really excited to see them! We got there halfway through the second band, emo group awakebutstillinbed. Although I had never heard of them before, they were pretty good and definitely set a mood. The angst coming off of the crowd was almost palpable.

 

The third set, Just Friends, was a ska band, I think. I don't usually listen to ska so I don't know exactly what defines the genre, but with three horn players and plenty of people jumping around on stage, I'm pretty sure they counted. Even though I wasn't wearing checkerboard vans, I still got into the set. They really emphasized their vibe with setting up a wall of death pretty early on. The pit separated into two sides, Sheetz fans on the left and Wawa on the right. Like any good Philadelphians, the crowd was very excited about the division: chants against Sheetz and Wawa were screamed and when the time came, both sides went crazy. Standing with the Wawa fans, but safely behind the carnage, I watched as the groups collided full force and went insane. I loved it. As the set continued, there was yelling and jumping and circle pits and crowd surfers. It was so fun to watch and (lightly) participate in. Although Union Transfer is a large venue and the show was not sold out, the crowd felt tight-knit and sweaty. The band loved it, feeding off of the crowd's energy to play a really fun set. As the lead singer of Just Friends yelled at the crowd to “BOUNCE,” everyone in the pit blindly followed their new leader and jumped around until it was reduced into shoving and they ran out of space.

 

Finally, it was time for Mom Jeans. Their sophomore album, Puppy Love, is definitely one of my favorites of the year. The band has a really fun sound and is just great to listen to. I was excited to see them and they definitely did not disappoint. Hanging behind them was a really creative Mom Jeans. poster with an animal breathing fire and some hearts. The stage was lit with the standard lighting at Union Transfer. The lights flashed up and down towards the stage and lit up the pit as moshes formed. The restless crowd was looking to rush around and it could be felt as the entire pit would shift from side to side and toward and away from the stage. Mom Jeans. worked with the vibe, again, really feeling the crowd's energy. Just Friends joined them on stage at points, dancing around, spraying water onto the crowd, and stage diving. Beyond being talented, Mom Jeans. was just fun. Being at the concert was such a fun experience, especially on Halloween. Tons of people were dressed up and everyone there was super nice. (I also managed to register for classes at 10!)  Mom Jeans. played some of my favorites from Puppy Love, like "near death fail comp (must watch til end)," and some from their first album, Best Buds. They put on a great show and it was awesome to attend. As I put together my top 10 albums of the year, Puppy Love will definitely be a strong contender.