My weekend are usually reserved for family time and time spent to re-energize from the work week – so this weekend I packed the family into the SUV and drove up Rt. 13 up to The City Of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia is special to me because I lived there for several years in my youth and my love for many things came from that city – sports, music, attitude and soft pretzels – so I couldn’t think of a better city to see one of our favorite bands in.
The Last Bison are in the midst of a tour around the country in support of their new album, “VA” (Virginia), and after spending the last two nights in NYC and Conn., they made the trek down I-95 to Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live. The cafe is two venues in one; a larger club setting downstairs and a more intimate cafe setting upstairs – where The Last Bison was to perform.
After dinner with the family at Nodding Head Brewery, I walked down Chestnut and across the Schuylkill River to 3025 Walnut St. I was warmly greeted by Ben as soon as I walked in and he was excited about this evening’s show. There were only 20 tickets remaining and they were all gone by the time they started. Norwegian singer Monica Heldal opened the show with accompanying guitarist Oyvind Blomstorm and set the tone for the night with her sweet bluesy voice and a great harmonic sound between hers and Oyvind’s guitar.
After a 15 minute break, The Last Bison hit the stage. The Philly crowd were eagerly awaiting this moment as it’s been a year since they last met. The band didn’t disappoint and played 90 minute set consisting of a great mix of VA, Inheritance and Quill. They even treated us to a couple of tunes that didn’t make ‘VA’ but said they would be on a future release “real soon”. The ended their set with Every Time and with a healthy crowd participation of the “Ohh Whoa Ohh Whoa Ohh” after the chorus. As they band exited stage left – the crowd filled the room with that chant to bring them back for an encore. They closed out the evening with their Switzerland and it just left everyone wanting more. Simply a fantastic show.
If you’ve never seen them before live then you must make it a priority to see them and if you have seen them before, then you must see them again. Their sound is more refined then before especially with the added full drum kit and the addition of Amos playing an electric bass.
They will end this leg of the tour in at the NorVa for their annual Gathering Saturday, November 29. Mark it on you calendar and make sure you get out there.