BEING THERE: Parquet Courts @ Union Transfer

Parquet Courts


Parquet Courts are a rugged rock n’ roll four piece from New York City with the wind at their backs. Fresh off a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Package that stemmed from the personal artwork of co-vocalist Andrew Savage, Parquet Courts were more than ready to keep the ball rolling with a headlining U.S. tour. For their first stop of the tour at Philly’s Union Transfer, the place was near-sold out on a Tuesday night, with the second floor balcony packed shoulder-to-shoulder and the downstairs GA showing little mercy as well.

Opening up with “Human Performance” and “What Color Is Blood”, the guys came off quirky and cool, aka a run of the mill indie rock band. But as they began having conversations with the crowd and started getting into their faster stuff, they got even cooler. Bassist Sean Yeaton went into 30-second head flailing spasms just about every song, his mop of hair flying in every which way. Their energy level was both in sync and through the roof their musicianship was polished and kickass. A dude in front of me kept yelling out requests during every silence between songs, and finally frontman Andrew Savage asked to the crowd, “Is that Dylan?” The kid instantly goes, “Yep!” Andrew then asks, “Is your dad here?” A man two heads to the right of Dylan goes, “Yep!” Andrew smiles, and Dylan informs him that he’s written them again. This dude is writing the band letters and is calling out obscure requests from their early discography, and the band practically knew he was gonna be here? That’s die hard as shit. Andrew Savage even commented, “Just to let you guys know we have a very educated heckler over here.”

As they began nearing the end of their set, something else became clearer & clearer to me: these guys sound a ton like Talking Heads. Talking Heads had an very specific and quirky style, and these guys had it down to a tee. Guitarist and keyboardist Austin Brown barked out his lyrics like commands directly into the microphone on songs like “Dust” and “One Man, No City”, while the band held shit down with some of their funkier song structures. Although Andrew had apologies at the end of the show for supposed kinks they still hadn’t worked out, I had noticed nothing of the sort. — DYLAN LONG