aderbat @ Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia

It’s hard to maintain journalistic objectivity when you are reporting on a band you feel so passionate about. Such is the case with me when it comes to talking about aderbat. As mentioned in my earlier cd review of the band’s recent effort We Belong To The Sea, I am a bit past the point of being just a simple “fan”. I am in love.

So when I set out to Johnny Brenda’s Thursday night, I had high hopes for an amazing show and I was not to be disappointed. It was going to be long night, with four acts on the bill, but would soon prove to be totally worth it.

First up was Lillie Ruth Bussey, with a mixture of performance art and folk music. She loaded up the stage with cacophony of every musical instrument you might possibly find in a Salvation Army. I lost count after counting a record player with an LP of barnyard sound effects, a small keyboard, a metronome, wood blocks and a kazoo, among others. Bussey’s music is soulful, melodic, and eclectic. Though it seemed to have an odd pace in between songs with her having to manipulate an army of instruments, the end result was none the less enjoyable.

Philadelphia natives Bitter Bitter Weeks took the stage next. The crowd really seemed to turn out for this band and it’s straight ahead rock sound. They did a good job performing and the crowd loved them. Even though they honestly gave it their all, I just wasn’t feeling it. Nothing bad on them, it just didn’t seem to click with me for some reason. But I highly recommend you take a listen and decide for yourself.

It was then time for another Philadelphia act, East Hundred. I had only heard the two songs on their MySpace page, but I was soon very glad I caught their act. Mixing up keys, straight ahead rock guitar, and mixing vocals between normal mics and a green bullet harp mic their sound was nothing short of amazing.


Finally, it was time for the stars of the night, Doylestown, PA (and recently Williamsburg, Brooklyn ) residents aderbat.


They blasted into their set with a mixture of their hits both old and new. Being that this was a CD release show, the set list was heavy with songs of the new record, such as the opener and album title track We Belong To The Sea.


aderbat is simply one of those shows you need to see at least once, even if you’re not necessarily a fan. At times all members are sharing duties adding to the sound with hand percussion, keys, guitars, and shakers. At one point even the crowd got to help out working a tambourine.


Though the set list was heavy with the new songs, they still pulled in older favorites like “Man Overboard” and my personal favorite “Hard Wired.”


It’s hard saying anything bad about a band you like so much. The only complaint I possibly have is that the set was too short. But as always, as short as it was, aderbat didn’t disappoint.





2 Responses

  1. Great pics Ed, from the looks of it you were standing right next to me for a while during Aderbat’s amazing set.

  2. Right on Tom, next time you see me out say hi.

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