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Porches @ PhilaMOCA with Frankie Cosmos and Power Animal.

June 1, 2015

NMporches05Text by Tim Mulhern. Images by Niko Marks.

The last time I saw Porches and Frankie Cosmos live was at a late-night show in a living room in West Philly with the singers from both bands performing acoustically and solo. The room was small, but the crowd was large and attentive.

Last Wednesday night at PhilaMOCA, Aaron Maine of Porches and Greta Kline of Frankie Cosmos brought their full bands with them but not much else changed. The room was bigger but could barely contain the sweat-soaked crowd that clung to every word sung by Maine and Kline.

Power Animal kicked things off in a fashion unlike the bands that would follow their performance. Although only one member – Keith Hampson –  is listed on Power Animal’s Facebook page, a female vocalist and instrumentalist joined Hampson on stage.

The duo worked from a shared station of drum machines, microphones and other equipment to create glitchy, up-tempo beats. Although Power Animal’s sound is largely different than those of Porches and Frankie Cosmos, the audience was enraptured by the performance.

Toward the conclusion of Power Animal’s set, Hampson announced that proceeds from T-shirt sales would help provide clothes, shoes and books to those in need in Lofa County, Liberia.

Kline and her band quickly set up their gear as the crowd filled out and waited in anticipation.

The singer/guitarist has a knack for writing songs that put a spotlight on everyday occurrences. Throughout the set, she sang about getting older, going on tour and kissing on the lips in a tone barely above a whisper. The simplicity of the songs made the band’s performance intimate and captured the audience’s attention.

Anchored by Maine on drums, Gabrielle Smith (of Eskimeaux) on keys and David Maine on bass, the band breezed through a set of short and sweet tracks both old and new.

With no introduction, Porches opened their set with a version of “Franklin the Flirt” noticeably faster than the one found on 2013’s Slow Dance in the Cosmos as an episode of Bob Ross’ The Joy Of Painting played on the projector screen behind the band.

The band worked through a tight set, leaning heavily on cuts from Slow Dance and new, unreleased tracks that reveal a funkier side of the band’s sound.

Porches wrapped the set with three highlights from Slow Dance. As the last notes of closer “Skinny Trees” rang out, the credits of The Joy Of Painting started rolling: a subtle conclusion to a well-polished set.

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