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Canon Logic, Bird Watcher and Vita and The Woolf @ Johnny Brenda’s.

April 16, 2014

4.12.14_JUMP_BirdWatcher_JBs_DarraghDandurand_08Text and images by Darragh Dandurand.

Most of the hummus was gone from the hors d’oeuvre platter in Johnny Brenda’s green-room as Vita and the Woolf, Bird Watcher and Canon Logic all went in and out during sound check. The 13 musicians shared a few short conversations with one another before breaking off for each band’s pre-show ritual.

Front-lady Jennifer Pague and sit-in drummer Al Smith of Cold Fronts opened as Vita and the Woolf, a West Chester-born band making its way onto the Philly scene. Pague’s rhythmic music, influenced by piano-heavy melodies and Thom Yorke-like vocal stylings, had a crowd growing throughout the set. Curious bystanders hanging at the bar made their way toward the stage and swayed in unison as Pague’s fingers ran around her keyboard. She belted out song after song, eyes wrinkled shut as she hit every note she went for in her vintage, bell bottom pantsuit.

Bird Watcher (above) hopped up on stage next, ramming up the energy in the club. The six musicians occasionally had Ashley Cubbler behind the microphone, crooning along with lead guitarist Julian Booker. Sending Americana Rock spitting out of the amps, Bird Watcher had the boozy crowd shaking their hips.

The final set of the night came from Booklyn-based band, Canon Logic. A pocket of dedicated fans came from across the bridge and down I-95 to see their show, like the rowdy group of guys dancing so enthusiastically that the hardwood floor became a beer-covered mess. The pink lights flooded through Johnny Brenda’s famous final-set fog perfectly, matching the alt-rock jams from their new album, WYLD.

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