I don’t like to consider myself a creature of habit, but for the second Friday night in a row, I found myself at Triumph Brewery in Olde City between Front and 2nd Streets on Chestnut. The promise of good beer and good company brought me back to this spot to show off some of my often-imitated-never-duplicated dance moves and throw down to some nasty beats. As I have a tendency to do (and I have no idea why) I arrived early and saddled up at the bar to prepare myself for the coming festivities. Having been to many, many, many shows at bars and being a sports fanatic as well as audiophile, I like to take a little bit of time pre-show to chill and watch whatever game is on before turning myself over to the primal urge that is to rage. Unfortunately, the Winter X-Games were on so I spent a good amount of time staring down at the bar while the band set up.
Getting the party started this evening was a quintet called FiKus. Seeing five dudes on the tiny stage at Triumph was impressive, but it was nothing compared to what these guys did in the tiny space. As a self-proclaimed “electro-funkadelic-hip-rock” band, FiKus literally went everywhere during their set. From cymbal-heavy soundscapes to reggae-laden grooves, these New Jersey natives got the crowd going early and often. They intertwined synthesizers and live horns to create a very unique dance party that dropped funk and bass all over the appreciative crowd.
The headliners for the evening were a two-pronged attack out of New York City called Horizon Wireless. In a truly rare set-up, the band consists of a DJ and a drummer. That’s it. No keys, no guitars, just a drum kit and DJ. Admittedly, I was initially skeptical of this dynamic until they started playing. DJ Harrison Waxenberg provided some very nasty samples for drummer Sol Montoya to throw down to. Before I knew what was happening, there was an unending array of house, funk, electro, and even dubstep beats being thrown around on what could border on willy-nilly. The crowd at Triumph was a little on the smaller side, but appreciative to beat the band (no pun intended). This also allowed for some great audience to band interaction. HW were able to feed off the incredible energy of the crowd and able to adjust what they were playing to appease the maniacs on the dance floor.
Horizon Wireless has some upcoming gigs in NYC including one with Papadosio as well as performing at the Lift Festival in March with Conspirator, Ghostland Observatory, Orchard Lounge, and a bunch of other great acts. With any luck (and hopefully a little prodding from the Philly scene) we’ll be able to lure them back from the Big Apple to have them rage the City of Brotherly Love.