In a blur of messy hair, thumping drums, and slouchy cool vibes, New York City got a taste of Philadelphia’s unique music scene when Philly’s Phinest took over the Knitting Factory this weekend. Former Belle, Tutlie, Hemming, and Grandchildren were there to represent the City of Brotherly Love, and a whole bunch of hip NYC kids were there to watch (representing, presumably, beards). But urban as we were, the four bands were soon whisking us all away to a whole new place far from the darkened city.
Former Belle kicked things off with the kind of sweater-weather grunge that was made for salty winds and lazy days, playing material from their brand new release, Foreign Bed. “Alright, we’ll keep the sad songs coming, I guess,” said frontman Bruno Catrambone as fans enjoyed the cool practicality of their Philly-brewed rock. Catrambone’s a capella moments brought an extra polish, arresting in their honest delivery and suddenly-hushed sound.
Up next was Tutlie, a punky 6-piece with a heavy vintage sound that was rich with trumpet and drums. Backed by their impactful rhythm section, frontwomen Jessie Radlow and Rebecca Katz showed off some serious pipes as they supplied the vocals for their groove. Fans especially enjoyed “The Bison,” which Tutlie just performed for a recent NPR Tiny Desk contest.
Hemming then took the stage with her long-haired bandmates, whose garage rock was fueled by pounding drums and strong vocals. There was a hardworking, cuffed-sleeve attitude to their sound as they rocked us with cool songs like “Hard On Myself,” “I’ll Never Be the Man For You,” and “Vitamins.”
With a mellow start that almost had us fooled, Grandchildren brought an awesome finish to the showcase. Their heroic progressions and trumpet features made each song an anthem, and the crowd was jamming right with them as they dished out their special blend of orchestral pop rock. When Philly’s Phinest had come to a close, everyone left feeling good that the NYC music scene had just expanded its family.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley