Film School – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia Pa.

When I walked upstairs to the stage at Johnny Brenda’s last week, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Film School. The stage was littered with instruments as the band set up and went through the motions of a sound check as I took my place in front of the stage, camera in hand. The disinterest displayed by the band during sound check was diminished with equal energy and excitement as soon as they began playing.

An ambient noise rock played by skilled musicians filled the room aurally as psychedelic images and patterns covered the stage and Film School visually. Not being one to dabble in mind-altering drugs, I can only imagine that it was what anyone on an acid trip would experience, both the sights and the sounds. Were this concert and acid trip, it would be an amazing one.

In addition to the added visual stimulation, it has to be said that Film School bassist Lorelei Plotcyzk provides her own visual stimulation. Not only does she play a mean bass and have a beautiful voice, but Lorelei is one of those beautiful California girls. But by no means should you brush her off as some hot chick, she’s tough as nails and can walk her bass line all over you. I was impressed to see her sporting a Sailor Jerry Philadelphia shirt, although at one point it made me question whether she was “that guy.” If wearing a Film School t-shirt to a Film School concert makes you “that guy,” does Plotcyzk wearing a Philadelphia t-shirt while playing in Philadelphia in turn make her that guy? But I digress.

By far the most energetic person on stage was front man Greg Bertens. Keyboardist Jason Ruck was essentially hidden behind Plotcyzk, perhaps only because the stage at Johnny Brenda’s wouldn’t accommodate a clean layout, and drummer James Smith seemed almost sedate in every picture I snapped, until he went full throttle during the encore, knocking his kit all over the stage. Yet Bertens, and fellow guitarist Dave Dupuis, managed to stir up the crowd with their dynamic performances. Bertens was constantly throwing himself in front of his amp, dragging his guitar across it to distort the sounds flowing forth. During the one-song encore, he opted to jump on top of the amp, still swinging the guitar high over his head and around in circles.

Film School played a great set that was tight in its musicianship, spectacular in its visual presentation, and just all around wonderful. I definitely recommend seeing Film School the next time they head your way. The band plays through the end of the month, mostly on the west coast (dates below), but catch them where you can.

more @ flickr

Tour Dates:
May 08 – THE PICADOR / Iowa City, Ia.
May 10 – HI-DIVE / Denver, Co.
May 12 – INDIE 103 CHECK ONE, TWO PARTY @ VIPER ROOM / Los Angeles, Ca.
May 22 – THE MALIBU INN / Malibu, Ca.
May 26 – NEUMO’S CRYSTAL BALL / Seattle, Wa.
May 27 – WONDER BALLROOM / Portland, Or.
May 29 – THE FILLMORE / San Francisco, Ca.
May 30 – CASBAH / San Diego, Ca.
May 31 – HENRY FONDA THEATRE / Los Angeles, Ca.

Film School: website | myspace

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One Response

  1. sweet!!

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