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Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas with You Do You @ Boot & Saddle.

April 29, 2014

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas @ Boot & Saddle_042714_Photo by Jason Melcher_IMG_2807Text by Kyle Bagenstose. Images by Jason Melcher.

Philly picked the wrong version of Fire and Ice to entertain themselves with on Sunday night.

At about the the same time Game of Thrones (based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series) was rolling onto HBO, the Detroit based Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas were unveiling a song titled “Fire and Ice” to a small crowd at Boot & Saddle.

“This is a new song, so we’re going to try it out on ya,” said Hernandez before an ominous opening guitar riff kicked off the new material.

Like the rest of the six-piece band’s set, the song contained elements of many different genres, built on a traditional rock core, but using the trombone of John Raleeh and keyboard of Taylor Peirson to create a unique sound.

However, it’s Hernandez’s powerful vocals and high energy that are the main attraction of the band, and the Detroit native put both on full display despite playing to no more than a few dozen listeners. With a mesmerizing hip sway and emotive delivery, Hernandez quickly drew in on-the-fence listeners from the Saddle’s bar area.

“You guys can all move closer,” Hernandez joked after the second song, urging the audience to fill in the space in front of the stage. “I promise I won’t contaminate you with anything.”

Due to the Boot & Saddle’s 11 p.m. noise curfew, the Deltas had to hustle through a 7-song set. They did get a few members of the crowd dancing by the second to last number, the Latin-inspired “Run, Run, Run.” Closing with “Picture Me With You,” Hernandez grabbed a pair of drum sticks and went to work on a floor tom throughout the song’s closing crescendo, drawing an appreciate applause as the band left the stage.

Afterward, Hernandez said the band was looking forward to a summer of touring and festivals before releasing their first full-length album in August.

“It’s awesome to be on tour again, especially since it’s not snowing anymore,” Hernandez said.

Following JH&TD, the crowd was treated to another female led, dance-inspiring group in Philadelphia’s You Do You.

Fresh off the release of their aptly-named debut EP, The Sweet Sounds of the Funky Sounds, the five-piece outfit combined elements of soul, funk and even a little disco into their energetic 10-song set. The raw, sultry vocals of lead singer Katie Feeney once again took center stage, but guitarist Drew Parker, bassist Alex Baranowski, keyboardist Crills Wilson and drummer Aaron Boczowski each took turns standing out on their respective instruments.

Feeney was active on stage, constantly swaying her hips to the music and inspiring the hometown crowd to do the same. Toward the end of the set, the playful Feeney encouraged the crowd to get a pair of inflatable T-Rex mascots from the merch table and get them involved in the dancing.

They did just that, and just as the pair of dinos were about to take things to a more sexual level, Feeney jumped from the stage to dance over and rescue one back to the stage, only to boot it off once again in a burst of energy.

It was the kind of night where you had to make your own fun, and You Do You did just that, milking one last song from the sound tech and encouraging the crowd to forget what day it was.

“Tell your boss to suck it!” Feeney implored into the microphone, before launching into the funky “Mr. B.”

Feeney, who moved to Philadelphia during the midst of the Phillies World Series run in 2008 (“Matt Stairs is the great announcer of all time, and you can quote me on that,” says Feeney), says the band is going to lay low for a few weeks before the release of their first full-length album in June.

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