BEING THERE: Courtney Barnett @ The E-Factory

Photo by TOM BECK

Fresh off a 2015 North American tour during which she played a sold out show at Union Transfer, Courtney Barnett returned to Philly last night for a sold out show at the Electric Factory backed by her Aussie accomplices, drummer Dave Mudie and bassist “Bones” Sloane. Decked out in her trademark droopy pants, old t-shirt and slept-on hair, Barnett kicked things off with “Dead Fox.” Songs from Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit, Barnett’s 2015 debut LP, made up the lion’s share of the set list. Just three songs from 2012’s A Sea Of Split Peas EP — “Are You Looking After Yourself?,” “Lance Jr.,” and “Avant Gardner” made the cut, leaving out popular tracks like “David,” “Anonymous Club” and “History Eraser.” arguably her best song. Despite a what-could-have-been-better-set-list, Barnett did not disappoint, exposing the audience to much rawer and more bare bones versions of songs from I Sit And Think, opposed to the over-produced ice cream truck versions from the album. You’ll find yourself a bigger fan of “Elevator Operator” once you hear it without the cartoon keyboard sounds in the background. A notable difference from last night’s show and prior CB concerts was the lack of onstage banter, showing that as the venues get bigger, Barnett struggles to maintain the feeling of playing in a small club. She kept conversations with the crowd to a minimum, an unwelcome change from the funny deadpan humor she expressed with the Union Transfer crowd a year prior. “Pickles From the Jar” and “Nobody Really Cares if You Don’t Go to the Party” rounded out the encore, the latter of which being the most relateable tune on Earth for any anti-social and indecisive Millenial, detailing the mental stress it takes to “pick your brain up off the floor,” change out of your pajamas and go to the damn party already. But as for last night, I’d be willing to bet the nearly 3,000 people at the Electric Factory didn’t have that problem. — TOM BECK