Hidden In Plain View / Punchline / Automatic 253 – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA – 12/15/18

In June it was announced that Hidden In Plain View were playing Philadelphia again for their yearly performance.  Unfortunately, guitarist Rob Freeman wasn’t able to play due to an accident leaving his wrist injured.  It wasn’t long until a make up date was announced that turned this summer show into a sort of holiday show to close out the year.  With the change in date also came a change in openers and PA’s greatest, Punchline, was added to the bill while local band Automatic 253 stayed on as the first opener.  Automatic 253, who have since changed their name to A Likely Story, is a local pop punk band from the Philadelphia area.  For the occasion, the band dressed up in their ugly holiday sweaters, which must of made their performance hotter because the guys in Automatic 253 were as energetic as kids on Christmas morning.  The constant jumping and moving sure did get the crowd excited for the night and for the type of music they play, they play it flawlessly.




After touring with Hidden In Plain View many moons ago, Punchline reunited with them and played a set filled with mostly their newest, and very good, album Lion.  Punchline has been a band for 20 years now and with a long list of songs their 45 minute set couldn’t include every single song, but the set they played fitted them as a band now.  I enjoy their older material as does the next fan, but it is good to hear the newer material especially since Lion features some of their best work yet.  For fans expecting songs from Action or 37 Everywhere, you might want to look beyond those albums.  Then again remember they aren’t headlining and the main part to touring is promoting the newest effort.  However, their Lost song “Roller Coaster Smoke” snuck in along with “Keystoned”, but lead singer Steve Soboslai explained that anytime they play Pennsylvania their possible state song will always be played.  Regardless, Punchline still put 100% into their show and the highlight was their stories they shared of when they used to tour with Hidden In Plain View.  Highly suggest that if you were/are a fan of Punchline to check out their latest effort Lion, it is a close return to form of their previous albums, but with more of where they are going as a band in 2019.  It’s exciting to see what the next material will bring along with their Netflix special they are filming.



Hidden In Plain View closed out the night and their year with a upstanding set.  Of course their fan favorite album Life In Dreaming dominated the setlist, but songs from their underrated album Resolution made the cut along with a few songs from their Drive Thru Records e.p. and their latest e.p.  However, a deep cut, “The Chaser” was played which ignited the crowd into a frenzy for this song hasn’t been played for some time.  Hidden In Plain View would go on to say that the song was the first song Drive Thru heard and would then sign them.  Even though the show went late, the later it got the more energetic the crowd and Hidden In Plain View got.  Every Hidden In Plain View show tends to be an incredible experience, but this show was one of their best ones.  It had the same feeling as when they first reformed in Philly at the TLA, it felt like the stage was going to be rushed and the crowd’s voice was overpowering.  This was their only show of the year and it showed that Hidden In Plain View was giving over 200%.  Even though the guys in Hidden In Plain View don’t tour, it is well worth it to make it out to any of the shows they do.  The experience is one of a kind and well worth the trip.  For me personally, this show was my favorite of 2018, no competition.  2019 is shaping up to be a good year for them, they announced they will be playing the Atlantic City date of the Warped Tour and we can only hope there might a few more dates towards the end of the year.  Maybe another holiday show with friends?  Starting Line played the same night as this show in Philly, but maybe we will see them combine forces and give Philly and New York an amazing lineup this year.


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