Driver Friendly – MilkBoy – Philadelphia, PA – 7/3/13

I really should buy some property in Philadelphia. I am down there way too much.  I know this because when I start watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I know exactly where they are.  Also I have never had a bad experience in Philadelphia.  Bad situations have happened, everyday isn’t perfect, but in the end I can laugh about it.  Sadly there were some bad situations had in Philadelphia last night.

The first one was while driving on the turnpike I saw this thing, don’t know what it was, fly and hit my windshield.  This has now led to a crack progressively stretching from the left side to the right side of my windshield.  I think the universe is telling me something, it is time to retire the car.  I will see what happens in the coming days.

The next issue was the venue.  Now I have been to almost all the major concert venues in Philadelphia, but I haven’t been to MilkBoy yet.  The place seems great.  The downstairs has food and a fun atmosphere, and the venue is upstairs.  This is where the problem hit.  The place is tiny, almost as tiny as the Pontiac Grill, when it was open.  It was also hot.  I think I sweated as much as the band and I was just standing there.  As a concert goer, this venue is awesome.  The intimate setting and closeness with the band, it is great.  As a photographer, it is tough.  It was like the show at the Barbary all over.  I couldn’t move around a lot and the red lights just killed me.  Hence why my photographs aren’t the best, maybe even my worse.  If any photographers out there have tricks in what to do in a situation like this let me know.

My last complaint, and I am sorry to do this, were the other photographers.  The one person respected your presence, the other, not so much.  Sorry if you read this guy, but two tips.  One, don’t use flash, it isn’t nice at a concert and it messed with my photos.  Two, use your view finder.  It is there for a reason.  I hate to say it, but this guy would hold up his camera or stretch his arm into my shot to take his.  Not cool guy.  Also don’t put your camera right up against the musician’s face.  Sorry to complain, but wasn’t my best shoot.

Enough with the negative, let’s talk about the positive and Driver Friendly!  These guys did an amazing job for a 7 piece band on a tiny, tiny stage.  When I first hear this band I was blown away.  So much so that I wrote about them before.  They have a sound that I can’t classify.  Rock band with horns, isn’t that ska?  Yes, but they don’t have the upstrokes in their music.  It is different.  Dare I say the 4th wave of ska?!  Either way this band put my faith back into Hopeless Records.  I grew up on Hopeless Records.  Did the mail order when I was young and listened to Falling Sickness, Against All Authority, Atom and His Package, Stairwell, and so much more.  Heck Chris from Digger was my neighbor.  I still love Melee, Mustard Plug, and Weakerthans though.  The label started to progress into a different light and I couldn’t find a good band until Driver Friendly.

As I said before these guys did an awesome job.  Not once was anyone just standing still.  These guys have so much energy I haven’t seen since seeing the band Moneen live.  Chris and Nate switched instruments throughout the set and each member would sing.  This band is multi talented and very friendly to talk to.  Also they are true musicians, not only do they play, but they are music fans.  The band busted right through all songs and new songs off their latest E.P. Peaks + Valleys.  I highly suggest picking this up.  Link on the bottom to listen to their older stuff.  Good luck finding it online to own though. I personally think this band has a good future.  I feel they are destined to be fairly huge.  I can’t say the same about my photography from this show though.

I hope I get another chance in seeing these guys live.  They are on the Vans Warped Tour this year.  If you are attending, make it a priority to see these guys.  I think on a bigger stage they will increase the energy 100 percent more.  Also if you are at the Scranton date, come say hi to me, I will be working the Bridge 9 Records tent.  Should be a fun time, and don’t remind me about these photos.  I will have better ones next time!

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