First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia PA
September 10, 2006
Words: MICHAEL DOWNEY
Picture by REBECCA & DAN SCHULTZ
Just like that, it's over: the first ever Radio Birdman U.S. tour. I'm sure they left a path of dazed and drained punters in the wake of their stunning shows. Which brings us to the last one here.
The church's "concert room" is basically a small, hot and sweaty basement with no stage lights and few frills. It reminded me of perhaps where the band might have played in the early days.
A chorus of "yeah hups" started before the band hit the stage. When they did, it was with the intensity that every fan has come to expect, ripping into "Burn My Eye", "Do the Pop" and "Non Stop Girls".
Maybe it was because this was the last U.S. show, that it seemed as though they upped the energy level. And the crowd was eating it up. Several problems with Deniz' amp gave Rob, who was in good humor, the opportunity to interact with the punters. But, the guys never let up and didn't miss a beat, driving home every song with conviction.
The new songs were particularly well received, especially "Hungry Cannibals" and "Locked Up"; it was hard not to be moved by those grooves. As with the D.C. show, they alternated fairly evenly between the three releases, highlighting "I-94", "Smith and Wesson Blues" and "...Endzone" from Living Eyes, and "Descent..., "Hand of Law", plus of course, "Aloha..." from Radios Appear.
The first encore started with a nice surpise; a smokin' "What Gives", followed by "SD 455", then blasting into "Search and Destroy". At this point the crowd was in full worship mode. They came back once more to thrill all with, you guessed it, the signature "New Race".
After the show, Chris, Deniz and Jim all agreed that they were extremely happy with how well the band was received in the U.S. Let's hope that they come back for an encore tour here so that we may once again witness some of the best rock'n'roll ever.
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