Have you been to a Communion show yet? It’s a monthly showcase of some of the best national and local bands in varying genres. Curated by Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, the Communion Tour hits nine U.S. cities, features a national band and adds local/regional musicians from each town.

Thursday night’s show at Underground Arts was my second Communion show after having attended October’s inaugural edition at Johnny Brenda’s. In both times that I have attended Communion, I have discovered a new band (or two) that I really like. It’s this model of discovery that makes a Communion night such a great experience.

Rusu Lup

Rusu Lup

Philly locals Rosu Lup started off the night with their quiet folky tunes, featuring horns & strings on a few songs. Rosu Lup was at their best when they built up to their strong harmonies. The song “Shorelines” had a great drum beat with a fun clap-along style.

City Rain

City Rain

City Rain, also from Philadelphia, is a 2-man electro-rock group, with a very danceable sound. With looped beats and a video projected in the background, City Rain was rather mesmerizing.

Team Spirit

Team Spirit

Team Spirit from Brooklyn came out full of energy. They started their set with a pounding drum beat that got everyone’s attention. Vocalist/guitarist Ayad Al Adhamy, formerly of Passion Pit told the crowd to get out of their seats and get close up front. What followed was a killer set of howling guitar-driven rock songs about girls, love, and murder. To end their set, Al Adhamy came out into the crowd, got everyone down low on the ground and then exploded into a bouncing finale.

The Weeks

The Weeks

The Weeks from Jackson Mississippi surprised me. To look at these tall, thin, long-haired bunch of dudes, I was expecting more of an emo-pop sound. But The Weeks are a fun-loving, indie soul-rock band that had a lot of fans in the audience. Apparently, I’ve been sleeping and The Weeks are pretty great stuff.

Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

Philly’s own Toy soldiers brought the evening of Communion to an end with their bluesy-rock goodness. Ali Wadsworth joined the boys on “Forget How It Used To Be.” They brought out a few brand new songs for the crowd too. Their set included an exceptionally rocking rendition of Dom Billett’s “Weeping Willow.”

January’s edition of the Communion Philly is in the books. I’m looking forward to next month’s showcase already. If the Communion folks can keep bringing quality lineups as I’ve seen so far, then I’ll be back for more!

COMPLETE SHOW GALLERY