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Saturday April 27 2024
  8:00PM doors -- music at 8:30PM
 
•••  ALL AGES
$15 in advance / $17 at the door
Sweet Pill
instagram.com/sweetpilll
 emo, pop, hardcore 
Equipment
equipmentband.com
 pop punk, alt rock
Great Time
greattimeband.com
 experimental indie pop



Sweet Pill
-from Philadelphia, PA
-Sweet Pill has a style earmarked by an earnest ingenuity that many young artists are quick to romanticize and aspire to but slow to cultivate and execute. It takes time. For singer Zayna Youssef, guitarists Jayce Williams and Sean McCall, bassist Ryan Cullen, and drummer Chris Kearney, however, their 5 years together have seen their hard work rewarded tenfold in half as long as it would take almost anyone else. From their 2018 inception, Sweet Pill forged a storied path leading to this moment: the release of their new EP, Starchild, their first for new label home, Hopeless Records.

There's a cinematic quality to Sweet Pill's forming in college in New Jersey, converting a small school bus into a tour-ready, cross-country capable vehicle (complete with bunks!) and driving it to SXSW in efforts to draw attention to their newly growing passion. In true film fashion, Sweet Pill arrived at the world-famous Austin festival only to be informed of its cancellation as the introduction of shelter-in-place restrictions surrounding the emergence of COVID-19. Proceeding to return home, their converted vehicle buckled under the pressure of the excursion, leaving them stranded for several days in Baton Rouge, LA before returning to their new home of Philadelphia.

It was this struggle that set the stage for the writing process that conceived what would become Sweet Pill's first full-length LP, 'Where the Heart Is.' When it came time to record, the group went to the studio Gradwell House with Matt Weber (A Great Big Pile of Leaves), eventually releasing it on classic emo label Topshelf Records in 2021. 'Where the Heart Is' and the support tours it led to (La Dispute, Their/They're/There, and Origami Angel) didn't come directly next, either. The band waited another year after their SXSW snafu before signing to Topshelf. With time, though, offers materialized, and their song "High Hopes" even earned itself a spin by Paramore's Hayley Williams on her BBC Radio podcast "Everything Is Emo." Bit by bit, buzz started to grow, leading the band to land a tour with The Wonder Years and, soon after, catching the ear of veteran indie label, Hopeless Records.

Starchild sees Sweet Pill returning to Weber and Gradwell House for another triumph, tapping in Dave Downham for mastering, and 'Where the Heart Is' art illustrator Kerry Dunn to continue the style their debut established. With these two releases, Sweet Pill only hopes to inspire others into a life lived passionately in close community with like-minded individuals, as they have been by bands like Algernon Cadwallader, Hop Along, and, of course, Paramore. For Williams, the only intention is "to live a sustainable life while playing music and uplift the people around me," while drummer Chris Kearney feels it is his only path. "I don't know what else I would do, I don't have another purpose in life." ~ Pierce Jordan



Equipment
-from Toledo, OH
-Throughout Alt. Account, we're faced with Nick Zander's many insecurities and flaws––Equipment is, after all, a band formed around his songwriting, and brought to new heights with the addition of guitarist Jacob Scott, bassist Ellie Hart, and drummer Jake Pachasa. Similar to some of his inspirations like Jeff Rosenstock, Rivers Cuomo or Dan Campbell of The Wonder Years, Nick looks at his peers in high-paying jobs and wonders if he made the right decision chasing his music dream instead. He spends the majority of Alt. Account playfully poking at this imbalance and its many nuances, constantly flowing between being a mental health hot mess and a cool, calm, and collected sort of chaos.

At various points on Alt. Account, a 12-year-old Zander can also be heard talking about LEGO stop-motions and the Sega Genesis; these are samples taken from his childhood YouTube gaming channel that he started in 2008, before the platform truly took off. It speaks to the many versions of ourselves we can be in our lifetimes, our own alt accounts––a concept that Equipment's bold new record embraces head-on.

During the album's writing process, Zander was diagnosed with bipolar II; his first medication is seen on the cover of Alt. Account, and the insomnia it gave him led to the creation of the majority of this album. Today he views the resulting album as a celebration of the fact that he's now tamed the instability of his initial diagnosis, a sign of hope for those in the thick of figuring their own patterns out. ~ Jamie Coletta



Great Time
-from Philadelphia, PA
-Great Time doesn't want to fit in a box. Living up to their name, the band just wants to have a great time making the music they want. Tired of being advised to "pick a lane" by some of their industry peers, Great Time sets out to create music that celebrates their wide-ranging sound, incorporating genres like synth-pop, electronic, jazz, punk, rock and R&B.

Their most recent releases are a series of EPs titled “Sounds Like ____”. The band had the idea to turn the EP titles into a Mad Libs type of game "so that someone could put their own adjective or descriptor for the EP in the blank space," explains singer/multi-instrumentalist Jill Ryan. The projects explore some of the different sounds and styles that influence Great Time. “Some people thought [our 2018 debut LP] Great Album was all over the place, so with the ‘Sounds Like’ series, we decided to lean even further into our multi-genre tendencies and place the option of categorizing or putting us in a box on the listener.”

True to their vision, each EP carries a different sound. On Vol. 1, Great Time create a blissed out atmosphere, with R&B and neo-soul melodies. For Vol. 2, the band zones in on its electronic and pop influences, creating a livelier atmosphere that feels ripe for dancing. Whereas Vol. 3 shows a guitar-heavy, more traditionally rock-sounding side to the three-piece group, ranging from punk to acoustic folk.