Philadelphia’s own Mercury Radio Theater, a punk rock art performance trio, opened for Unwed Sailor and Sybris last week with a loud and fast bang. Their set was nothing but tight as they raced through their own insane brand of punk rock, ending songs as abruptly as they started. Following the art school punk show was Foosa, another Philly band, those much more melodic and experimental indie sound. Foosa opened with a light and ambient instrumental number, setting the tone for their mellow and beautifully dreamlike set.
Chicago-based Sybris took the stage setting up their equipment and mic checking following Foosa’s set. While prepping for the band’s set, bassist Shawn Podgurski encouraged the audience to “drink Sparks!” to which the sound guy replied, “when you can’t afford cocaine.” Despite the jokes as the band set up, they got down to business playing loud and fast rock songs rich in reverb.
Front woman Angela Mullenhour‘s unique vocals blended beautifully with guitarist Phil Naumann‘s shredding riffs and Podgurski’s driving bass lines atop drummer Eric Mahle‘s pounding beats. Sybris performed a tight and passionate set, betraying an obvious love and commitment to music. The rapid tempos lent themselves to a highly energetic set from the foursome as they powered through a surprisingly short set, leaving the audience wanting more.
The crowd demanded a tenth song from the Chicago quartet, which Sybris readily agreed to play once the sound guy betrayed the fact that the band had plenty of time to play another song. Though visibly and audibly nervous about playing the last song, one they’ve not got great experience playing live, Sybris pulled it off well, letting the audience rock out to one last tune.
Sybris, whose sophomore LP Into the Trees is available now, will be playing their hometown’s Belmont Art and Music Fest today and Austin City Limits this fall.
more photos @ flickr
01. Dark Horse
02. Burnout Bob
03. Safety City
06. Hurt Hawk
08. Oh, Man! (download)
09. Best Day
10. (surprise song)
June 28-Belmont Art and Music Fest / Chicago
Sept 28-Austin City Limits / Austin