"March 3, 2006"

Subways - March 3, 2006

First Unitarian Church
Philadelphia, PA, USA

On the third night of their first tour of the United States, UK trio The Subways was ready to rock Philadelphia. Despite below freezing temperatures and howling winds outside, The Subways were cool and relaxed. Bassist and part time singer Charlotte Cooper, clad in silver short-shorts and a black tank top with a glittery butterfly and an arm full of jangling bracelets, kept the audience's attention while her tee shirt and jeans clad male counterparts were more the strong silent type, happier to become absorbed in their playing. Indeed it was Cooper's energy that seemed unending (and got tiresome to watch) as she chased guitar player and lead singer Billy Lunn back and forth across the stage.

Perhaps taking a note from Eddie Vedder -- who climbed to the second story balcony and then dove at the Trocadero, a venue across town -- Lunn climbed all over the small stage at the First Unitarian Church and mounted drummer Josh Morgan's bass drum at various times throughout the evening. After announcing "we forgot to play a song," Lunn abandoned his guitar and scaled the speakers, guitar pick clenched between his teeth, as he led the audience to clapping along to the band's sole encore, "Rock & Roll Queen," shouting, "We played our fucking hearts out for you. Let's hear you clap!"

Working the crowd into a frenzy during songs, it was the band's in between song banter that was awkward and showed lack of experience. After head banging and running all over the stage in the course of a song, Cooper and Lunn would offer an exceedingly polite albeit shy "thank you" after each and every song. Banging out nearly all of the songs of their debut album, "Young For Eternity," to a crowd that sang and bounced along, the Subways sounded a little rougher than on recording. Although Cooper's vocals became lost in the mix when backing Lunn, The Subways delivered as best they could.