Philly natives The Districts rock out at Electric Factory | The Triangle
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Philly natives The Districts rock out at Electric Factory

Rob Grote of the Districts - Shane O'Connor The Triangle
Rob Grote of the Districts – Shane O’Connor The Triangle

The Districts only had one stop left on their most recent tour: the Electric Factory on Nov. 6. Hailing from the small town of Lititz, Pennsylvania (just outside Lancaster), The Districts have risen to success very quickly. They formed in high school and released their first EP, “Kitchen Songs,” in 2011. Now, they return to their old stomping ground to wrap up their fall tour in support of their second full-length album, “A Flourish and a Spoil.” The Districts played the show with openers Purples, an experimental indie rock band from Philadelphia, and Lady Lamb, an indie folk group from Brunswick, Maine.
After getting the crowd thoroughly warmed up, Purples left the stage and Lady Lamb took their place. As soon as Lady Lamb started singing, it was clear who in the crowd were fans and who were not. Apparently, it’s not possible to be a moderate fan of Lady Lamb because those who knew the lyrics were belting them at the top of their lungs. As she played through her catalogue of catchy songs, I began to understand just why she is so adored by her fans.
I think Lady Lamb is gaining steam as a songwriter, a fact that her growing fanbase only serves to reinforce. If you’re looking for a nice fusion of pop, folk and indie rock, look no further. “Billions of Eyes” especially stood out to me, with its infectious melody and lively tempo. At the start of the song, one of the super-fans who happened to be right next to me removed her bra and threw it at Lady Lamb. It was completely absurd.
Finally, it was the moment we were all waiting for. The lights went down and Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” blasted through the public address system as The Districts took the stage. They opened up with the first track off their new album, “4th and Roebling,” and it was immediately apparent how energetic the show would be. The band and the audience fed off each other’s energy; everyone was jumping around fanatically and singing along to every word. With the band romping around onstage, banging away at their instruments and singing their hearts out, it had a truly authentic vibe. Even though the venue itself was large, the concert felt like an intimate basement show because of the rawness of their music and their lively performance.
Throughout their set, The Districts managed to play all the fan favorites from both of their albums—even the less commonly played live “Lyla.” Thrown into the mix were two new, unreleased songs that held the same spirit and energy of all their other material. They ended the set with their hit “Funeral Beds” from their first album, “Telephone.”
They returned onstage for their encore and busted out an older song, “Silver Couplets,” much to the audience’s approval. For the last, and probably most anticipated song of the night, they played their nine-minute magnum opus, “Young Blood.” Right as the song started, lead singer Rob Grote’s guitar was cut out. Instead of losing momentum, the rest of the band kept jamming to the opening riff of the song. When the guitar—or cable, whichever was the problem—was eventually fixed, they jumped into the first verse of the song. At this point, the fans were about ready to explode with excitement after being teased with the intro for about five minutes.
As the song progressed and built towards the climax, the energy of the crowd escalated higher than it had been all night (if such a thing was possible). As the song drew near to a close, Grote, along with every fan in the building, belted out “It’s a long way down from the top to the bottom, it’s a long way back to a high from where I am” over and over before launching into the longest and most impressive guitar solo of the whole evening.
It’s satisfying to see a “perfect show,” and that’s how I would describe The Districts’ concert. Their playing was flawless, their onstage presence was incredibly lively, the setlist was bulletproof, and even the opening bands were really fun. If you’re a follower of the Philly music scene or even indie rock in general, these guys definitely need to be on your radar.