There was no groovier way to get warm last Wednesday night in Philadelphia than to descend into the psychedelic, festively-decorated venue that was Underground Arts. With pillars wrapped like candy canes, snowflakes dangling from the ceiling, and Christmas lights and greenery decorating the various facades of the hall, the crowd was welcomed to a vibrant winter wonderland. The music of the night consisted of a funk sandwich, kicking off with Suburban Sensi and closing with The Main Squeeze, with a psychedelic rock filling played by Out Of The Beardspace.
Suburban Sensi warmed the crowd up, literally warding off near freezing temperatures with their “groovalicious, funktastic, good-time vibes,” as they accurately self-describe on their Facebook page. Evidenced by the rhythmically loyal collective movement created by individually enthusiastic listeners, these New Jersey natives did not disappoint.
Out Of The Beardspace shook up the vibes a bit with a harder, rock interpretation of a similarly psychedelic feel. This band, which came together at The School of Rock, felt like a hard rock jam band recording a soundtrack perfect for losing yourself in a funhouse. While challenging the ear, the guitars harmonized in a clutter just short of sounding like muddled noise, while maintaining a head-banging musicality. Their songs ebbed and flowed through varying levels of intensity, colored with wawa pedal, blurred guitar riffs, and fairy dust-like bells. The Beardspace hit an 11 out of 10, crushing their final song with a killer drum solo.
A quick smoke break cleared the dance floor only briefly until the space filled back up to welcome The Main Squeeze to the stage. At this point the crowd was pretty rowdy, and as The Main Squeeze pushed out their first few songs, mosh pits and crowd-dives came into full effect. At one point lead vocalist Corey Frye tried to calm the crowd, get them on his more soulful level. Though unsuccessful, there was something very endearing about watching Frye sing a lullaby to a basket of Wednesday rage babies. Bringing the energy back up, the band left the stage with musical suspense as Frye made a request of the crowd: “I want that dance move, you know, the move. The one you do when you’re all alone in your room in front of the mirror. I wanna see that move,” he said just before the beat dropped and the crowd went wild with their most uninhibited moves. They then gifted the crowd with a special Fresh Prince of Bell Air treat, as they put their own funky twist on the Philly native theme song. Belting into a microphone adorned with a fan’s undergarments, Frye gave a shout out to the “titties that belong to this bra.” The band finished the set with some groovy Christmas carols, which could have almost gone unnoticed given their perfect immersion into the band’s funkadelic sound.
The night only ended when the crowd’s protests for more music were granted, and all were satiated with good ole funk.