Late last month indie rocker Blondshell (Sabrina Teitelbaum) packed Philadelphia’s PhilaMOCA performing arts venue with adoring fans.
Written by Jonathan Lane
Together with solid backup by her bandmates, Sabrina delivered a very satisfying 14-song set comprising tracks from her 2023 self-titled debut album and others, Rounding out the set were covers of a Sarnia and Le Tigre numbers:
Onstage the unassuming Blondshell commands your attention while her disarming presence removes any invisible barrier between herself and the crowd. Fans are fully tuned in as she opens up and invites us to share the high highs and low lows drawn from her experiences.
Blondshell kicked off the set with “Veronica Mars”, a soft tune that steadily builds to a delicious, grungy sonic stew. The set provided a good cross-section of where Blondshell is musically up to now: at times cheerful and upbeat, angry, or hopeful. Extremes on the romantic front were represented by fun indy tune “Cartoon Earthquake” about a promising romance:
If a rock hit the ground
And split like a hairline fracture
A cartoon earthquake now It’s me that you’d run after
And jump the gap
To get to my half I wanna trust that
…the singer-songwriter-styled “It Wasn’t Love” about heartbreak, which features a crowd-thrilling vocal crescendo in the few seconds:
She told her mom I was her friend, I was a friend
It hurt the most when I was always at her bed
But it wasn’t love, it wasn’t love, it wasn’t love
It wasn’t love if you have to ask if you’re making it up
…and “Salad” – harder indy rock tune, where the band’s playing reflects the barely suppressed impulses to murder a seemingly deserving former beau:
I’m so scary
I can’t stop having visions of following him
Gonna make it hurt
Gonna make it hurt
This early-career show promises great things for Blondshell – and we’ll look forward to seeing and hearing the next chapter.
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Photo gallery of Blondshell performance below.
Blondshell – PhilaMOCA – Philadelphia, PA 7/21/23
4. Charm You (Samia cover)
7. Deceptacon (Le Tigre cover)
8. Street Rat
11. Kiss City
13. It Wasn’t Love
Hello Mary opened for Blondshell with a very original and of progressively rock-ier set of songs – as their understanded performance proceeded, Hello Mary infused borderline psychedelic sounds and riffs, allowing the talented trio to demonstrate their chops on guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
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Photo gallery of Hello Mary performance below.