However you spent your Saturday night ringing in the new year, it doesn’t come close to the way Philly did. With countless shows throughout this musically talented city, Philly natives Good Old War threw one heck of a party on South Street at the TLA. They even brought the best part of New Jersey with them, River City Extension. (Shame on you if you thought I was going to say the cast of Jersey Shore.) Opening the show and keeping people entertained between sets was DJ Frosty.

The last time I saw River City Extension, which was also the first time, was back in April at the Launch Music Conference in Lancaster. While I was more than impressed by them then, I knew that I wanted to see (or hear, rather), what they sounded like in a normal concert venue versus a convention center. With the added awesomeness of experiencing the majority of their set from backstage Saturday night, I wasn’t terribly upset when RCE didn’t do the one thing I was anxiously waiting for them to do: jump off stage and bring the music to the middle of the crowd to play “Bone Marrow Twist and Shout.” Oh well, I guess it’s good to be left wanting more?

Despite this minor let-down, they did play a few of my other favorite songs, including: “South for the Winter,” “Mexico” and my personal favorite of the night, “Something Salty, Something Sweet.” The lucky audience members were even treated to a solo performance by Joe, who sang a song dedicated to the city of Philadelphia, written the night before… See video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nANs_TSE9zQ[/youtube]

These guys, and girls, have a certain energy about them that just can’t be captured in any recordings. I know this is true of most bands, but it’s rarely as true as it is with this band. And since I believe that albums are a great way to hold you over between tours, I’m happy to share that RCE are working on a new album. From the brief exchange of words I had with a a member or two, they’ve been hard at work and are so excited to share it with their fans.

Good Old War is one of my newest reasons to be proud to be a Philadelphian. They could have spent their New Year’s in a million different ways, but instead decided to throw one heck of a party in their hometown. It’s clear how much this city and their fans mean to them, which makes experiencing them live that much better. While I’m less familiar with their music than RCE, I had so much fun running around the TLA trying to capture the moments the best that I could.

I don’t know which moment to highlight first. Between GOW instructing the crowd to hug the person next to them before going into an awkward slow dance tune, the energy in the venue moments before midnight, and covering The Beatles just after midnight along with numerous friends on stage, GOW managed to turn one of my least favorite holidays into a pretty damn good one.

Playing a couple of my favorite songs off of their latest album, “My Own Sinking Ship” and “Here Are the Problems,” the best song of the night goes to the cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from my Friends.” I’m now more than convinced that I need to stop wasting my time and get more familiar with their music until their next show.