Shawn Fogel – The M Room, Philadelphia

This past weekend, singer- songwriter Shawn Fogel performed as solo set in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia at the M Room. The show, put together by fellow music blog Bag of Songs, also featured Pico vs. Island Trees and The Hymns. Fogel took the stage with an electric and an acoustic guitar, playing a variety of songs that included both high-energy, upbeat rock songs and more mellow, sedate numbers.

The constant switch back and forth between the styles was done with ease and fluidity, at times reminding me of both Kevin Devine and Rocky Votolato. The likeness to Devine appears in Fogel’s wonderful inflection in his singing, as well as in some of the heavier personal and more political lyrical content. Votolato comes to mind each time Fogel strums a jaunty riff on his guitar and plays a rousing harmonica part. Combining defining aspects of my two favorite singer-songwriters earn Fogel an 11 out of 10 in my book.

Notorious for a small Sunday night crowd, the M Room proved that quality really is more important than quantity. The crowd loved Fogel’s set, cheering loudly and showing him love after each song. Fogel and the crowd fed off of each other’s energy, the former involving the latter as much as possible throughout the set, talking them through the set list he constantly switched up and detailing the sound guy’s love for Mötley Crüe.

Fogel implemented distortion and warbly effects to compliment his melodic tunes and personal, sometimes self-loathing, lyrical content on songs such as “One Winter” and “Athens.” He also knows how to write political jabs, highlighted in the song “Doomsday Devices,” which he introduced as a song about President Bush, whom he imagines has an action figure set of all the world’s leaders and plays with, taking over the world when he’s alone. Fogel has emerged from the East Coast scene with an eclectic sound that draws on everything from The Beatles to Stevie Wonder, creating a wonderful niche for himself in the indie rock singer-songwriter world.

Fogel will be playing a couple more New England tour dates before he focuses on creating new material for an album he hopes to put out before the new year.

Tour Dates (w/ full band):
Jun 06 – Two Boots/Bridgeport, Ct.
Jun 07 – The Middle East/Cambridge, Ma.

more photos @ flickr

Shawn Fogel: website | myspace
Bag of Songs: website

[where: 15 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia PA 19123, Philadelphia PA]

2 Responses

  1. […] Fogel: website | myspace | live review | download “The Fight at the […]

  2. […] live? SF: No. Probably the second or third. Maybe the fourth. I think I did it once or twice solo—that show Jessica reviewed, I did it solo then. I did band shows a couple of weeks ago in Connecticut. We played the Middle […]

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