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The Twilight Sad Brings Their Goth Sound to Philly!

The Cure is my favorite band. Unfortunately, they don’t tour a lot anymore. The last time I saw them was in 2016 for a three night stand at Madison Square Garden in NYC.

The band that opened for The Cure on that tour was The Twilight Sad. I think I was so excited to see The Cure, that I really didn’t pay that much attention to The Twilight Sad. I remember liking them, but I don’t remember much else about them.

But, I know The Twilight Sad is a band Robert Smith (The Cure’s lead singer) has taken an interest in. I also know that The Twilight Sad has been inspired by The Cure.

So, when I was able to snag $20 all-in tickets during Live Nation’s recent National Concert Week sale, I figured why not?

Would The Twilight Sad satisfy the hole left in my musical heart from not seeing The Cure for almost 3 years now? Keep reading to find out!

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THE VENUE

THE FOUNDRY

The Foundry is the smaller room in The Fillmore complex. Holding only 450 people, it’s located on the second floor of the venue.

The Foundry
The Foundry is the smaller venue upstairs in The Fillmore Complex.

Tip #1: If there are two shows going on at the complex, there are always two separate lines. If you are heading to The Foundry, make sure you get in the right line. It’s usually much shorter and easier to get through.

The Foundry has a small stage, a large bar, and comfortable seating areas around the perimeter. It’s a great venue, because there really isn’t a bad place in the room to see the show. Bathrooms are located in the back on the right (if you are standing in the front of the venue looking towards the back).

The Foundry
The Foundry has a large bar area.
The Foundry
There are several couches and other seating areas in the back half of the venue.

Tip #2: If there is any bad view in the room, it’s located around the bar area behind the two poles that are in the middle of the GA floor. While the poles aren’t big, they do make for a bit of a challenge if you end up behind one. You may have to do some dodging and weaving to get a full view of the stage.

The bar serves drinks and a limited food menu.

Tip #3: The Fillmore (The Foundry) is located in the up and coming Fishtown neighborhood. There are plenty of food options for grabbing a bite before the show. If you want to be within a couple blocks, try Frankford Hall (which serves German food and beer) or Fette Sau (which serves barbeque). If you want something a little less pricey and much more down to earth, grab a burger at Johnny Brenda’s. A Philadelphia institution itself, they also have live music regularly. It’s a great place to stop in after a show. There are also a couple of options in the entertainment complex, including Mad Rex Restaurant, which is right around the block.

Tip #4: Parking near The Fillmore is easy. There are two lots located near the venue. The cost to park is typically $10-15. If your timing is good and you don’t mind walking a little further, you can typically find parking on Frankford Avenue or the surrounding neighborhood streets. Most of its free, but be sure to read the signs to make sure you aren’t parked illegally. Also, be aware that the trolley comes down Frankford Avenue. I’ve seen people that haven’t parked close enough to the curb, and the trolley can’t get through. They will have your car towed if you are blocking the trolley route.

THE SHOW

KATHRYN JOSEPH

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Kathryn Joseph is a singer-songwriter from Scotland. Her debut album – Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I’ve Spilled – won the award for Scottish Album of the Year in 2015.

In 2017, Joseph collaborated with Marcus Mackay and The Twilight Sad’s James Graham on a band called Out Lines.

Most recently, Joseph released her second album – From When I Wake the Want Is.

THE PERFORMANCE

Kathryn Joseph is a little creepy. I mean, at one point during the show, she told the crowd that she was a bit of a witch and was putting a Scottish curse on everyone. I’d like to think she was joking, but I’m not completely sure!

Kathryn Joseph
Kathryn Joseph definitely had a bit of a creepy vibe to her.

Joseph took the stage at 8 p.m., sat at her keyboard, and told the crowd she was a bit more sweaty and smelly than usual. She then went right into her set. I would describe her music as haunting for sure. Take a listen for yourself of one of her songs.

One of the reasons why I call her creepy, is she had this way of looking right into your eyes while she was playing. Towards the end of her set, I had to move up closer because a guy stood right in front of me with his phone over his head to take video and blocked my view. When I was up close, I felt like I made direct eye contact with her several times. It really felt like she was trying to look into your soul!

Kathryn Joseph
Joseph had a way of staring at everyone in the crowd during her set.

The creepiness of her music definitely comes through. As she introduced one of her last songs, she said a recent review read that Joseph must have some sort of mental illness to have written the song.

Creepy or not, I did enjoy Joseph’s set. And maybe she put a Scottish curse on the guy that stood in front of me with his phone over his head! I think I should send him a link to my blog post about what you should and shouldn’t do at a concert!

Joseph is on the road for the rest of the month supporting The Twilight Sad on their tour. You can find more information about her and her upcoming shows on her website.

THE TWILIGHT SAD

ABOUT THE ARTIST

The Twilight Sad are our of Scotland, and are made up of James Graham (vocals), Andy MacFarlane (guitar), Johnny Docherty (bass), Brendan Smith (keyboards) and Sebastien Schultz (drums).

The very beginnings of The Twilight Sad started when Graham and MacFarlane met in high school. They gathered up some other friends and formed a cover band. After leaving school in 2003, they decided to take their music more seriously, and The Twilight Sad was officially born.

It wasn’t until 2005 that the band made their first demo, which they sent to Fat Cat Records. The co-founder of the label – Alex Knight – went to Glasgow to see them perform live, and signed the band on the spot.

The Twilight Sad released their first studio album – Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters – in 2007. Amazingly, the whole album was recorded in 3 days. The album received a lot of critical success, which led to The Twilight Sad being invited to hit the road in support of acts like The Smashing Pumpkins and Snow Patrol.

The band’s second album – Forget The Night Ahead – also received a lot of critical acclaim. Shortly after the release of the album, the band’s original bassist left to pursue a solo career.

In 2012, The Twilight Sad released their third album – No One Can Ever Know. The album marked a departure in sound from their first two albums. After going through some additional personnel changes, the band actually considered calling it quits.

Despite the consternation in the band, they went ahead and recorded their fourth album – Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave. And then, they got their big break. Robert Smith chose The Twilight Sad as the opener for The Cure’s 2016 tour. This rejuvenated the band and gave them the motivation to keep making music.

The Twilight Sad released their fifth studio album this year – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time.

THE PERFORMANCE

The Twilight Sad took the stage at 9 p.m. I don’t like to stereotype, but most musicians have a certain look about them. In the case of The Twilight Sad, when you listen to their music, you expect them to look a certain way. Probably have some tattoos. Maybe wear black boots and ripped up jeans.

The Twilight Sad definitely does not fit the “goth band” image. In fact, I could have walked past Graham on the street and guessed he was a lawyer or an accountant – not the lead singer of The Twilight Sad! Graham did joke that he and guitarist Andy MacFarlane didn’t get the memo from the rest of the band about wearing a striped shirt.

The Twilight Sad
The Twilight Sad don’t really look like hard rocking guys, but they certainly are!

Despite their look, The Twilight Sad rocks. Their music is definitely in the genre of great “goth” bands like The Cure, The Smiths, and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Hear it for yourself in “Girl Chewing Gum” from the show.

The Twilight Sad cranked through a number of songs off their latest album, but also gave the crowd some of their older favorites as well. There was a group of fans front and center that sang, jumped and screamed like crazy the whole show. The band clearly enjoyed them and their enthusiasm. In fact, Graham mentioned that the first time they ever played Philadelphia was in 2006 at Johnny Brenda’s, and some of the people in the crowd on this particular night had been there with them from the beginning.

The Twilight Sad
The fans loved The Twilight Sad on Friday night!

It was the biggest crowd The Twilight Sad has played in Philly, and a great kick off to their North America tour. While I wish Graham’s vocals would have been turned up a bit higher – he was a bit tough to hear on some songs – all in all it was a great show. The Twilight Sad may not be familiar to a lot of people, but they have been playing together a long time and it shows.

The Twilight Sad definitely gave me my “Cure fix”. Now I just need The Cure to hit the road in the U.S. this fall!

The Twilight Sad is on the road in North America through the end of May, before they head back to Europe for the summer. You can keep up with their upcoming tour dates on their website.

Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): [10 Good Reasons For Modern Drugs], Girl Chewing Gum, VTr, The Arbor, Reflection Of The Television, Last January, Sunday Day13, There’s A Girl In The Corner, I/m Not Here [Missing Face], Let/s Get Lost, Videograms, Cold Days From The Birdhouse, The Wrong Car, Keep Yourself Warm (Frightened Rabbit cover), And She Would Darken The Memory

Are you a fan of The Twilight Sad?  Did you discover them through The Cure like I did? Let us know. Please comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.

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