Vinnie Caruana / Koji / Brian Marquis – The Barbary – Philadelphia, PA – 2/21/13

With only three more days left, the Vans Warped Tour’s Acoustic Basement Tour finally made its way to The Barbary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This tour has been getting rave reviews for its diverse lineup and unique setting where each musician would be playing only on an acoustic guitar.  I was excited to see Vinnie Caruana again not only for nostalgia reasons, The Movielife, but to hear his solo material live.  Also my buddy Koji was on the bill and it is always a pleasure to hear and see him doing what he loves.  Also on the bill was Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, A Loss for Words, and Brian Marquis.

The opener for the night was Brian Marquis of Therefore I Am.  Little did I know, but Brian was the person behind putting this tour together.  I knew little of his music as a solo artist and when he was in Therefore I Am.  Regardless, I was impressed.  His music style was tittering on the “folky” side, but still had an edge to it along with his vocals sounding crisp and resonating.  I wasn’t planning on photographing his performance, but within in the first song I decided against that.  Also Koji said I should.  Unfortunately the red light of death was present, but I think I will be seeing more of Brian when he plays around my area.

Brian 1 Brian 2 Brian 3 Brian 4

Next was Koji.  Koji is someone I have known since my freshman year in college.  Introduced by an ex-girlfriend, I have watched Koji go from being Koji on the Roof, to just Koji.  An honest, genuine, and amazing musician that everyone should be listening to.  You can’t help but feed of his smile and positive attitude, and it shows in his music and performance.  His set included new music that will be feature on his first full length coming out in April.  I can’t describe how excited I am for this.  Koji has only put out e.p.s since he started and signed to Run for Cover Records.  A full length has been long overdue, and it looks like we will finally get it.  Expect to hear more about Koji in the coming months, trust me.  Also he was right about it being hard to photograph at The Barbary.

Koji 1 Koji 2 Koji 3 Koji 4

Closing out the night was Vinnie Caruana.  Vinnie is mostly known for his lead vocal duty in The Movielife.  Eventually, people will get passed that and start appreciating his new band more, I Am the Avalanche.  I am 25 now, and for about 10 years I have been listening to anything Vinnie attached his name to.  It is a no brainer that I would love his solo material he just released.  It was nice hearing this added into his set list.  Every other time I saw him play acoustic it was always The Movielife and I Am the Avalanche material.  Now we can hear something new from him that never had a full band sound.  Koji sang along with him on one song, Boy, You’re In Heaven if I remember correctly, and Vinnie also covered Saves the Day’s Three Miles Down.  My only complaint was that he didn’t say as many stories as he usually does, but there is always next time especially by then he might have a full length out.

Koji 5 Vinnie 1 Vinnie 2 Vinnie 3 Vinnie 4 Vinnie 5

Anyone that missed out on this tour surely knows that they missed out on a good night of music.  Even though each set was about 30 minutes, it was a great way to get introduced to new music and see your favorite musicians in a different setting.  Hopefully we will see another tour like this next year, and if not, we can always check it out on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour.

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