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Why? @ Union Transfer.

September 30, 2014

why_2Text and images by Greta Iverson.

Why? came to Philadelphia last week and proved that frontman Yoni Wolf could probably rewrite the standard for prancersize.

Why? is on tour for about two weeks but not to promote an album. This short fall tour seems like Why?’s way to keep a strong fan base and have some fun performing. And they really do always look like they’re having a ton of fun.

The band draws longtime fans who sing their hearts out to every obscure song, even ones from Rubber Traits, a 2006 EP not everyone could place. Not surprisingly, Why? played their hot sing-alongs like “The Vowels, pt. 2” from Alopecia and “Strawberries” from Mumps.

“It’s always great to come back here,” said Yoni Wolf. “We have family here. Our parents are from here. It really does feel like coming home.”

The audience was mostly quirky-looking people of all ages. Awkward dancing was the common trait, as though the crowd was trying to emulate Yoni Wolf’s stage personality.

Preceding Why? was an ‘80s inspired ambient group, Grimace Federation. The Philly-based duo built on their downbeat trance songs slowly over 20 minutes until suddenly, the room was as energetic as a Lady Gaga concert. The lights flickered lightly over the crowd, getting brighter and more consistent as the group went on.

Dessa followed with powerful vocals and solid band backing. Margret Wander, known as “Dessa Darling” on stage, performed original songs with a sick flow and thoughtful harmonies with her backup singer, Aby Wolf. The group had its own fans at the show. Dessa was more than an opener for a lot of people that night.

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