American Football Take On Philly At Union Transfer
Article + photos by Autumn Dawn
Venue: Union Transfer
City: Philadelphia, PA
Date: May 21, 2019
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience and photograph American Football at Union Transfer on Tuesday, May 21st with supporting band Pure Bathing Culture. Union Transfer provides quite a unique experience, making it feel intimate and warm – the perfect combination for what the night would bring.
As Pure Bathing Culture opened up the show, their soft, classic rock sound filled the venue and captivated the crowd.
It was refreshing to see a non-male fronted band, and I’d love to catch them live again!
A long break between sets helped build anticipation in the eager crowd. Lights scattered across the stage as percussive instruments, and even cans of beer for the band members, were placed respectively. All this time, a powerful fog machine pumped cloud after cloud into the room. Once settled, the atmosphere was ready and it was just about time.
Finally the lights dimmed, the focus fell onto the stage, and out came American Football. The crowd felt calm and casual, with individuals calling out as if having conversation with a familiar friend. The small lamps throughout the venue began to flicker and cut through the fog like a soft butter knife, warming up the room and everyone fell silent. The bells began to chime — a perfectly timed group effort to open up the first single off of their third, and most recent LP, Silhouettes.
Throughout their set, the band brought out Sarah Versprille of Pure Bathing Culture to sing along on “Every Wave To Ever Rise,” “Uncomfortably Numb,” and finally “I Can’t Feel You.” American Football chose to spread these songs out throughout the night, which was a perfect balance between the classics and their new material.
A fun fact that I was previously unaware of is that that their drummer, Steve Lamos, also plays trumpet! To introduce many of their songs, he would play a long succession of notes, often eerie in translation and almost like a class bell to call attention to himself.
Playing crowd favorites such as “Honestly?,” “Never Meant,” and finishing their encore with “Stay Home,” American Football managed to exceed my high expectations and give a fulfilling set, which pulled and tugged at many deep emotions throughout the crowd. Make sure to catch them on the upcoming dates of their tour!