Two months after my move to San Francisco, I was given the opportunity to host a phenomenal show at Cafe Du Nord, a venue in the heart of the city. The bill for the night included young LA band Warm Weather, Terraplane Sun, and Filligar, a group of four young men from Chicago who proved to me that they can put on one hell of a show. I’ve been a fan of Filligar for a couple years now, but had yet to see them perform live. Was I well aware that they were listed in the top 8 for best live acts in America? Yes. Did I believe it before the show? Sure. Did I leave the show thinking they were one of the top 3 live acts I’ve ever seen? Yes.
Let’s start by mentioning how friendly every single member of Filligar is. I showed up early to get my booth set up and make sure everything was good to go, and the boys all came up and reintroduced (or in some cases, introduced) themselves to me, making me feel right at home. Polite, funny, engaging, you name it. They cover it. Before their set, they were hanging around the bar, mingling with all of their fans, with not an ounce of egoism in the air.
When Filligar took the stage, the room erupted. Sure, it makes sense that the large portion of the crowd who went to college with the band were jamming, but I also saw people above the age of 60 rocking out. The room was having a ball watching bass guitarist Teddy go from a poised and upright plucking pose to a full out foot-stomping, leg-kicking, head-banging jam and seeing keys player Casey be able to close his eyes and navigate his hands across two keyboards as though it aint a thang. The crowd was jumping. Screaming. Clapping. Dancing. Cheering. Singing. Having the time of our lives.
Perhaps my favorite moment was when lead singer Johnny started dancing and crashing around all corners of the stage while playing his guitar, banging his head around and bumping into his fellow band mates. It was clear to anybody in the room that these men were playing their hearts out. And they were having a fucking blast. And you know what? I can say with candor that everybody in the room was having a fucking blast.
What’s obvious thus far is that the energy these four men reflected on stage was not only contagious, it was breathtaking. What I haven’t touched on enough yet is that the musical talent these guys have. Guitars, keys, harmonicas, drums. Lead singer Johnny tends to stand at the front microphone and jam away on his guitar while stomping his feet around, keeping the beat, and dancing along with the crowd a bit. Teddy plays the bass guitar like a beast; he pulls at the strings with all of his might and shakes the guitar with his whole body while managing to harmonize vocals at the same time. Pete mans the drums and keeps the whole band in tact as he defines the tempo of each song. And Casey? This guy can play the piano sitting down, standing up, eyes open, eyes closed, and even while standing up on top of the bench. Oh, and to add to that? He plays the harmonica all the while, too.
If you can’t tell, I was wild about Filligar’s performance last night. But I wasn’t the only one. The crowd added to the fun. People were dancing their hearts out. People dancing in groups, dancing in pairs, dancing by themselves, dancing with Johnny as he walked into the crowd while performing, it didn’t matter. They were dancing, and they weren’t willing to stop after Filligar left the stage. Filligar came back to the stage after the crowd demanded an encore that, again, blew my mind. It was a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” It was a more acoustic tune than their pre-encore finisher, which was an enormous performance of “Trepador,” my favorite song of the night. For that one, we got to see Casey’s hands dance across the keys (managing to pull several full-keyboard slides here and there) for what seemed to be a 10-minute performance, Johnny unable to wipe the smile from his face while singing and playing guitar, and Pete and Teddy giving their instruments a solid beating. It all added up to one of the best original closers I’ve ever seen.
Lastly, I just want to urge all of you guys to check out Filligar’s touring schedule and buy a ticket immediately if they’re going to be in your neighborhood. The experience is incredible, and even if you’re not typically into rock music, I guarantee you will be. Trust me. It will be a night to remember forever and you will begin to see live shows in a whole new light.
Click on thumbnails to see them full size.
Well guys, the G-Eazy show was such a raging success, we’ve decided to sponsor another concert in our second month based out of San Francisco! This time around, we’ve switched from hip-hop to good old fashioned rock and roll. Filligar, a rock and roll band hailing from Chicago, will be taking the big stage, following opening performances by fellow rock bands Warm Weather and Terraplane Sun.
Filligar is visiting us in San Francisco after having wrapped up an international tour. They just might be on their way to becoming one of the youngest and hottest rock and roll bands in the world. It’s an enormous claim, but they have the ability to live up to it. Their sound is full, their energy is through the roof, and apparently they put on one of the best live shows the world has to offer. Needless to say, it’s going to be a fun night. The floors will be rattling in San Francisco…
MP3: “A Promise” – Warm Weather (via Knox Road)
It’s starting to amaze me that I went to a summer program with two of the band members from Filligar. These guys are creating music that might be revitalizing the rock ‘n roll genre as a whole. This music is for older folk and fans of The Rolling Stones and it’s for younger folk who are digging J. Roddy Walston and the Business. Filligar is rock ‘n roll at its best, and they’re just getting started.
Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are learning to play the piano. My teacher was this ancient man with few teeth left, and quite possibly the sweetest man to ever walk the Earth. He had a tape recorder that he would leave himself messages on. I remember he would tell me my piano homework and then he’d pull out his tape recorder and say something along the lines of “Bring 5th Sonata for Lydia.” I can only imagine what his home looked like; something tells me the walls were covered in piano sheet music and books.
Ever since my childhood, I’ve aspired to be a good piano player. Unfortunately, to this point, I’ve fallen short of my dreams, but I like to think that dream will never die, nor should it. But hearing a song like this one by Filligar reminds me why I want to master the art of piano playing. To simply be able to sit down and jam away at the piano would be so fun.
This song is some good old-fashioned rock and roll. The piano playing is incredible; definitely my favorite asset on the track. I could definitely get into this.
Featured: “The Observatory” – Filligar
CONCERT SERIES AT DUKE THIS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16TH
-Matt and Kim
To any Dukies/people in the area:
This Friday, October 16th, check out some great shows on Duke’s campus!
Start your night off with some Filligar! They are a college band comprised of 4 guys from Dartmouth and their music is great. They’ve been touring the country playing shows almost every night. Their show will be in the Bryan Center, hosted by Campus Concert Series at 8 PM. These guys recently played a show at Dartmouth with Wale and Mike Posner. Check out one of the band members underneath a promotional banner:
Next stop: Studebaker Brown.
Opening for Matt and Kim in K-Ville at 9 PM. Got to be honest, I don’t know too much about this group, but from what I have listened to, they’re a pretty mellow group who play flat out “pretty music.” Gentle guitar patterns, smooth voice, steady drum beats that aren’t overwhelming…worth checking out more at their MySpace page.
Final act: Matt and Kim!
(9:30-11 in K-Ville)
It’s pretty exciting that Duke got Matt and Kim to come down and play a free show for the students. Their status is quickly rising in the music world. As posted below, they are up for a mtvU Woodie Award, and their brand is building by the minute. They are most famous for their song “Daylight,” but don’t sleep on other tracks such as “Cutdown” (click on the track to play it…right click and save to download it). These two are famous for the momentum at their live shows…and a track like Cutdown shows the excitement with its countdown series, its clap-beat, and the upbeat and exciting tempo and singing. Also…they seem to have a great time together as friends, which is always appealing.
Another great track to check out: “Dont Slow Down” (right click and save)
Filligar, Studebakerbrown, Matt and Kim all performing at Duke on Friday, October 16th. Filligar in the BC at 8, 9-11:30 Studebakerbrown, Matt and Kim in K-Ville.
Edit: The show times changed a little, the real times are now showing.