Touring is by no means an easy pursuit, and one can only imagine the difficulty of traveling from city to city, and then playing to a less-than-receptive crowd. Such was the case when Boston’s Jack Romanov played a Philadelphia venue last winter. Since that point, the band has found acceptance thanks in a large part to The Stoop crew. Performances by Jack Romanov and New York’s Ghost Pressure at The Stoop last weekend not only solidified their following in the Philly music scene, but it also displayed that The Stoop has become a great location for out-of-town bands to gain exposure.
On October 15, The Stoop’s final concert of the year began with an acoustic set by Duke Maroon, followed by some “good old PA hardcore” courtesy of On Patrol. Interestingly, On Patrol closed their set with comments about the failure of the hippie movement before launching into a cover of Blink-182’s “Dammit.” Almost as response, Static Flow followed On Patrol’s set with music that was clearly influenced by jam bands. Despite the contradictory philosophies of On Patrol and Static Flow, both bands, as well as the superbly catered playlist by Shady Monk, were well-received by concertgoers.
From the moment that Stay at Home Dad started sound checking “Going Postal,” people started to flock to the front of the stage to support the band. Stay at Home Dad delivered a ceremoniously exquisite set that was mixed expertly by Dan Hodgkinson of Running Lights. Susy and Marcos Sanchez’s vocals came through extremely well, and the mix also showcased the way that Ben Gress’ distorted Fender Jaguar works as is the Ying to the Yang of Angus Jabbour’s clean and jazz informed Yang. Both guitar players are extremely talented, and I’ve witnessed very few that work so well in tandem.
After delivering a set of prog rock electronic instrumentals akin to Estratosphere, Mage Hand acknowledged that The Stoop’s eclectic lineups was something special, and certainly not the norm. The electronic influence on that night continued with New York’s Running Lights. Although guitarist Dave Hodgkinson performed in both Running Lights and Ghost Pressure, he noted that they were completely different projects. The theatrical dream pop of Running Lights was a first for The Stoop, but like every genre, it was welcomed with applause.
When trying to describe the genre of Jack Romanov, I tend to dance away from a direct response. In one word, they’re good, but an exact genre for their heavy form of dance rock pop is more elusive. Regardless of genre, Jack Romanov delivered, and I highly advise keeping an eye out for their next concert in Philadelphia. New York’s Ghost Pressure returned The Stoop to close the concert, and their brand of high-energy indie rock was met with much support. Vocalist Nick Post dedicated their song “New Science” to The Stoop kids and it was magical, especially when Marcos Sanchez joined the band on stage to add his vocals to the song. Ghost Pressure officially ended The Stoop season with covers of The Pixies and The Violent Femmes and, as the concert came to a close, I couldn’t help but be hopeful for that great acts that will be playing The Stoop when it returns in May.