Photos and Story by Steven Philips
Halloween was Friday this year, but the big parties were in Philly were on Saturday night. PEX had their big party and afterparty and there were others, but I was saving the EDM for late late night. Rising Pulse Productions has not only put together a stable of great bands to manage, but they’ve been producing some awesome events in the Philly area lately. On Saturday night they bookended the Lettuce/Soulive show at the Electric Factory with a pre/after party at Voltage Lounge, the perfect spot due not only its ‘around the corner’ location (no need to move your car) but the great dance floor, fun balcony lounge, and good vibes. This was not just a regular show, but rather three bands covering three full albums, a great concept for a special holiday show. To get things started, The Underwater Sounds covered The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, an album who’s music and lyrics have not only inspired many fans around the country, but inspired this group to get out of their comfort zone and into something new. They added two singers for a total of three strong female voices, along with their new keyboard player, and their usual complement of two guitars, bass and drums. After the Underwater Sounds came the Royal Family Halloween Ball, the last stop on Lettuce’s fall tour.
Then it was a return to Voltage for Swift Technique performing The Red Hot Chili Peppers album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The energy on stage, as well as the band’s outfits was on a high level. This funk crew has been playing a lot of shows in the area lately, and they have been outstanding. Many funk bands can be described as energetic, but these guys have found a way of sharing that energy with the audience that has come to define their live shows. They seem to spend as much time in the air as anchored to the stage. They brought a new and different sound to this album, and the interpretation was well done.
Next up, to wrap up a great night, was Montoj. They chose the quintessential Halloween album, Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The female vocals worked out perfectly to recreate these great Jackson songs including Billy Jean, my favorite, and the title track thriller, which got everyone doing the zombie dance – a perfect ending to an awesome show.