Everyone might have dreamed of having their favorite band play a concert in their own living room. You’d get to sit on your own couch, have snacks and drinks at the ready. It would be awesome. Unfortunately, unless you win one some kind of sweepstakes contest, it’s probably not going to happen for you. But not to fear, there is a pretty decent alternative right here in our fair city. Down on 12th and Spring Garden Streets there sits the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art. The venue is about as close to a living room show as you are going to get and it held the passionate up and coming Philly punk band Beach Slang July 27.
Tucked away on a street just a few blocks away from the well-known Union Transfer, PhilaMOCA is in a great spot. Once you walk in, the band is playing right there next to you. Then you’re faced with a tough decision, do you want to stand one foot away from the band or about fifteen. It’s a tight space. If you get a chance to see another Philly punk band, Hurry, you better be right up in front. The three-piece group delivered a great opening set, featuring an awesome cover of the forgotten one hit wonder “Whole Wide World” by Wreckless Eric. Any band that gives their take on a classic like that is fine by me. They even had embroidered band hats for sale!
Soon enough, Beach Slang took the stage as the intimate venue filled up. Lead singer and guitarist James Alex addressed the crowd early and often with some banter. The band has only released a handful of songs but their debut album is coming out this October. With two EPs under their belt, you knew that the set was going to be short but Beach Slang still packs quite a punch. Songs like “Dirty Cigarettes” and “American Girls and French Kisses” are special to hear live where half the people in attendance shout out the lyrics in time with Alex. Beach Slang has a great edgy, punk, in-your-face kind of vibe that translates well from their records to the live performance. Alex’s vocals are almost reminiscent of the Goo Goo Dolls but I don’t think that band rocks out half as much as Beach Slang.
Alex and his two band mates gave those gathered a special treat as they played three songs from their yet-unreleased album. All three sounded pretty good, the new album should be a welcomed addition to the Beach Slang discography. Seeing Alex flail around and sing into his mic mere feet away is a real sight to behold. Beach Slang puts on a great live show, so be sure to check it out next time they play in Philly.
It’s great to have bands like Hurry and Beach Slang making waves in the Philly music scene. Hurry is doing some touring with the British band Yuck, and Beach Slang is coming out with their debut album this fall. Better get in on the ground floor with these two bands because July 27 may have been the last time they’ll be playing in someone’s living room.