BEING THERE: The Growlers @ Union Transfer


Thursday night at Union Transfer, Brooks Nielsen, lead singer of Cali-based beach goths The Growlers, hit the stage rocking his trademark Robert Smith-inspired locks and a thrifty striped sweater. Lead guitarist Matt Taylor went for the no fuss, white tee and was joined by guitarist, Kyle Stratka who opted for a long-sleeve, colored tee. This was suspiciously dressed down for a band that usually sports incredibly dapper, coordinated suit ensembles. However, these perplexing sartorial choices had no apparent impact on their ability to deliver the good. They opened with “Problems III” which felt like a great anthem for Philly. I’m sure the line “But rents on time, we’ve got cigs and cheap red wine” really hit home for all the college kids in attendance. “One Million Lovers”, a fan favorite, had the crowd visibly and audibly thrilled from the first note of the intro as balloons were tossed into the audience. When balloons made their way back to the stage Nielsen, Taylor and Stratka were more than obliged, as per age old rock ritual, to kick the balloons back to their fans. Even with their fun, flashy, neon lights and killer chords the band still managed to look incredibly lax. They embody a coolness that is really just par for the course. In the end, the guys brought us full circle. They capped off the night with “Going Gets Tough” another song that is synonymous with Philly’s resilience. “Worry’s a bully,” Nielsen warned, but at least we have some beach goth to keep us going. — LARA MICKLE