@ The Fire, 10/8/13

Phone conversation to The Fire, 620pm
First volley: 6 rings, voice mail.

Second volley 703pm:

“Hello…Philadelphia Bar and Grille”
“Hi….uh…is this not The Fire?”
‘It is.”
“OK.just wanted to be sure. I was confused.” Is it 830pm for doors, 9pm show?
“I think…it is… looks like 8pm doors.”
“OK sounds good, thanks.”

Well, The Fire certainly exists in its own sort of timeline. In fact, the hanging sign out front does say Philadelphia Bar and Grill. There is no reference to The Fire, except in the performance space itself. Curiously I noticed that they do serve some appropriate bar snacks like chips and salsa and such, tho I don’t remember them serving food before.
Also the tables and chairs are something new. I wonder if it’s becoming a..ugh…listening room. it guarantees that someone is going to get in the way of someone else, and if it’s a rock concert, it could get ugly. Hopefully they move these barrier for livelier shows. But no such luck on Tuesday. My assignment was to cover this event featuring Spectral Lines, a duo formed by artist/actor Cris Welti and synth/keyboardist Jessica Darling Rose (Voltheque, Ex Cathedra).

Typically the venue starts at 9pm or close to it as possible even with the early posted time for doors. A nice ploy to keep people at the bar. The local beers are of good stock, $3-$6. Cover I thought was $6, actually was $7.
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Starting off was songwriter Jeanette Lynne, performing in a duo setting with guitarist Jamie Victor, under the title Old Monk. I didn’t hear reference to the project during the show tho I did spot a handsome bag on stage with that title. Jeanette’s songs are plaintive and hopeful, with bouncy acoustic melodies. She has a warm presence on stage and a persistent smile. The duo were joined on stage by a backup singer whose name I didn’t capture at the time. Jeanette is based in West Chester and has frequently performed in the Philly metro area for a number of years.
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Robin Renee takes a music approach that is drawn from pop as well as a marked indivuality in her songwriting. Much of the music is from a spiritual perspective. Her showmanship was dazzling on stage. Generally armed with acoustic, she performed solo during the 40 minute set, with one a capella song, plus one tune on harmonium (how often do you see this instrument on stage?) Her latest release is a single called “All I Am” which I believe she performed this evening. Robin is the sort of songwriter that I enjoy sitting down to listen to; she has 4 albums of recorded material, performs on different instruments and knows how to quietly work a stage. Plus her subject matter is both spiritual in nature and also down-to-earth at times.
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Spectral Lines performed a loud set at the end. There was, in fact, an issue with the sound during the set, tho probably attributed to the sound board. Cris sings all the material, while Jessica thoughtfully strikes her Roland keyboard. The style is decidedly 80’s post-punk, new wave, straightforward in nature, interspersed between songs with audio clips, presumably from film. One could imagine them expanding on this project, maybe with a fuller band, or live video accompaniment. This was their first show on stage, and have a number of regional shows ahead.

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No video for this show. I had attempted video with my new camera but the stage monitor was so loud that the filming wasn’t salvageable.

Not bad for a new camera, eh? I kept most of the gallery up on Facebook without edits. Next time I’ll have the edits done before publishing. Meanwhile, enjoy the gallery here


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