February 09, 2014

Drowners @ Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia

Kicking off their first tour since the release of their debut full-length album the previous night in DC, New York rockers Drowners made their way to Philadelphia for an intimate show at Kung Fu Necktie on Friday.

After selling out their hometown show at Bowery Ballroom last month, this venue was somewhat of a downgrade for Drowners, but certainly a step up from their last Philly show, which took place on the tiny stage at Ortleib’s Lounge and is briefly featured in the band’s music video for the song “Luv, Hold Me Down.”

As the lads from Drowners made their way to the stage in their street smart New York uniform of skinny jeans, black t-shirts and, for frontman Matt Hitt, a leather biker jacket, it came as no surprise that they are part of the NYC fashion crowd. And, as far as their visual appeal, it doesn’t hurt that Hitt is also a well-established male model.

The band kicked off their set with the opening track from their self-titled debut LP, a song titled “Ways to Phrase a Rejection.”

In between songs Hitt beckoned the crowd to move in closer in his charming Welsh accent, noting how there’s always an arc in the front of the crowd at gigs. The band continued through the rocking, post-punk-inspired tracks off their LP with an upbeat energy. Though Hitt made little attempt at eye-contact with the crowd, guitarist Jack Ridley III engaged the audience, making his way to the edge of the stage and shouting into the mic for back-up vocals on the song “Pure Pleasure” with the sort of energy usually reserved for pop punk bands.

Ridley’s stage presence and guitar skills, combined with Hitt’s charm and catchy hooks, makes this a band to watch. With upcoming UK tour dates, as well as stops at SXSW, Coachella, and Governor’s Ball, make sure to catch Drowners on the road and check out their self-titled LP, which is out now on Frenchkiss Records.

The bill was rounded out with bands VoirVoir from Bethlehem, PA...

... and Asbury Park’s Wreaths, whose self-described “dream punk” sound set the tone of the night.

More photos of Drowners:

Text & Photos: Lauren Thomas


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