This past Friday I saw Triathalon and Girl Ultra at the Foundry in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, psychedelic-soul group the Marias, originally on the roster, had to drop last minute, so it ended up being a two band gig. I have been to the Fillmore before, which is on the lower level of the building, with the Foundry being a way smaller venue on the second floor. On the same night, electronic duo Louis the Child was playing downstairs at the Fillmore and the difference between the two crowds was palpable. Seeing teenagers running around in shorts and t-shirts in below freezing weather was literally painful. However, upon entering the Foundry I found myself in a space safe of sad hipsters wearing dickies, oversized sweaters, and all the other essentials of a Philly SadBoy (tm).
Girl Ultra performed first and she was so fun to watch! I wasn’t familiar with them before going to see them, but singer Mariana de Miguel has a beautiful voice and it really came across live. However, the backing band was just a drummer and a bassist so they were playing along with a backing track. The overall effect was kind of off-putting. Once I got over it though, I was able to appreciate the thoughtful presence of the lead singer of Girl Ultra and really enjoy her singing.
I was kind of disappointed the Marias did not perform, and I wasn’t alone in that. Because refunds were offered, the crowd was somewhat small - I'm pretty sure I've been to basement shows with more people. It was a very intimate setting, which had its pros and cons. Con: at one point during Triathalon's set, I was on fire tweeting something I thought was really funny and then looked up and the lead singer had jumped down from the stage and was standing maybe two feet away from me as I was, sadly, tweeting on my phone. Sorry!!!
Triathalon's new album, Online, has to be one of my favorites from this year, though! It's very relaxing to listen to and just really very cool and sleek. Seeing them live was a really interesting experience. It exemplified to me that they are just normal people, as my cousin replied to a video of the band, "They look like you and your friends!!" Despite this comment coming off as a backhanded compliment, I understood where she was coming from. I felt like I was just at another gig! The stage had nice lighting, with the band performing in front of a massive curtain like that of my high school's stage curtains. The band had also clearly brought their own equipment, including two (2) tiny lamps to add that indie-Goodwill chic vibe while also providing the band with some more lighting. The lead singer's voice was really beautiful and he was really friendly as we talked to him while my friends bought (slightly overpriced) merch! It was a fun concert to attend, and it was really cool to see Triathalon perform. Even if I get a kick out of making fun of them, I really respect what they are doing and really enjoy their albums. I would definitely recommend checking out Triathalon's new album Online, and would keep an eye out for it in end of the year lists!