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Good Old War @ The Church with You Won’t and Pete Hill.

April 14, 2015

IMG_7870Text and images by Emily Scott.

There is something heartwarming about seeing your hometown, Philadelphia suburban band play a sold out performance at the First Unitarian Church. After a two-year hiatus, acoustic folk band Good Old War did just that on Sunday.

The three-piece band brought out newcomers to the church, noted by their unfamiliarity with the basement stairs entrance.

The evening was kicked off by another Bucks County native, Pete Hill. The one-man band took on a fresh-faced American indie rock sound that had the crowds swaying to his bluesy rock riffs. Hill played a few tracks off his latest work, The Bullet Tree, including “It’s A Shame.” Backed by a folk bassline, Hill’s soulful voice does the rest of the work.

Good Old War drummer Tim Arnold accompanied Hill on “Soaking,” which featured surf rock riffs and rim clicks that felt just right for the warmer evening,

The theme for the night seemed to be small, multi-instrumental bands. Next to take the stage was Massachusetts’ duo, You Won’t. At first glance, they appear to be a simple drum-and-guitar indie rock group but add in a tambourine pedal, synthesizer and a whirly tube, and you have the multi-genre band. Their stage presence was incredible and had its fair share of jokes as guitarist Josh Arnoudse sang “Can’t Help Falling In Love” falsetto through the whirly tube.

A woman came to the stage to welcome “the best band in the world” and the trio couldn’t stop laughing as they walked onto the stage. The band opened with their catchy folk rock track “Coney Island” and the church basement was overwhelmed by loud sing-alongs.

On tracks like, “Looking For Shelter,” harmonies played an integral role in capturing the audience’s attention. The trio’s working harmonies were still spot on even after some time off as a band. During “Weak Man,” the crowd independently belted Anthony Green of Circa Survive’s refrain.

The band didn’t stray from crowd participation. The group asked two girls to come up and sing Keith Goodwin’s verse on the track.

Good Old War opened with two new tracks off their upcoming album, Broken Into Better Shape, one of which has yet to be released. “Tell Me What You Want From Me,” which was released earlier this month, features more rock ‘n roll riffs from the band. The foot-tapping drum patterns from Arnold turned this track into an anthem.

After playing their hit “Amazing Eyes,” the band came out for an encore to play three more songs. As Arnold’s accordion riffs cascaded the room, the crowd let out a cheer for the track “My Own Sinking Ship.”

The band seemed to feel right at home, as the whole crowd was singing along to nearly all the tracks, including the latest one.

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