On Thursday night, Knoxville’s The Black Lillies played their hearts out to a respectful crowd at Ardmore Music Hall. Local favorites Mason Porter opened the night, playing a range of songs from their three studio albums, and from the start of their set there was a lot of energy on stage.
Mason Porter‘s folk/bluegrass showcases beautiful harmonies from the three regular members: Joe D’Amico (mandolin and guitar), Paul Wilkinson (guitar), and Tim Celfo (upright bass), and rhythms that would induce a less-reticent crowd to dance, especially with Kevin Killen on the drums.
The audience in Ardmore was very appreciative, applauding heartily after every song, and seeming to gain momentum as the set went on. But for whatever reason, they weren’t getting out of their seats to dance.
This also held true for the headliners, who threw all their energy into the stage show anyway. The Black Lillies are led by Cruz Contreras, a badass piano player and guitar player. At times during the set he played the keys with his guitar or his boot, and a constant smile made it look like he was having the time of his life. In fact, you get the impression that the Black Lillies are a happy band in general.
Expressing appreciation for Philadelphia and the venue, Contreras said they hoped to come back soon. They’re currently in the middle of a national tour in support of Runaway Freeway Blues, which was released last spring, and invited the crowd out to Knoxville for a big New Year’s Eve party. The Black Lillies seem like they’d be a great band to spend NYE with. Here’s hoping they do come back to the Philadelphia area soon.