Tuesday, January 20, 2004

So Much for the Concert

This was to have been a post on last Thursday's show by the Thrills at Mount Airy's North by Northwest. But when my brother-in-law and I arrived at the front door, we found a note announcing that the show was a sellout -- and there we were, shivering and ticketless in the cold Philadelphia air.

Which is a shame, because the Dublin quintet has put out such an intriguing and fun debut album that the prospect of seeing them live had enormous appeal. Dotted with songs about various California towns and packed with sparkling harmonies and jangly guitar work, So Much for the City is a suntanned valentine to the Thrills' years in the Golden State. Indeed, in his review of the show, Inquirer freelancer Patrick Berkery described the band's sound as a cross between the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and the Beach Boys. Given the Thrills' penchant for some occasional effective banjo use, not to mention City's youthful missteps, the mark of a group still finding its way, I'd throw in the splendidly ragged Philly band Marah as well.

On our way to a nearby watering hole to lament our missed opportunity, my brother-in-law said, "This is gonna put a dent in our hipster cachet, Tom." Thankfully, half of nothing, as they say, is still nothing. While we drank our beers, our night came to an eerily appropriate close, as out of the jukebox came B.B. wailing, "The thrill is gone. . . ."


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