So this review will be Punch Brothers’ debut on Indie Shuffle, and it’s definitely about time! Punch Brothers are based out of Brooklyn and make some of the sweetest and most innovative bluegrass music out there today. Lucky for me, I got to experience their music up close and personal at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia.
Punch Brothers’ opening act was a woman by the name of Jesca Hoop. It was just her and a guitar on stage, and she pretty much captivated everyone. Her demeanor was sweet and her music was soft and intimate with a lot of thought-provoking lyrics. Her voice was sultry and gorgeous and she is most definitely an artist to look out for.
Next up, Punch Brothers! These five guys are some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen perform live. Each one played such gorgeous solos, and with such ease, that it was truly mind-blowing. Lead singer, Chris Thile (also known as one half of Nickel Creek fame) danced his signature jig as the rest of the band flowed in sync, making it obvious that they’ve all probably been doing this their whole lives.
Punch Brothers’ modern bluegrass style has so much energy and vivacity that there were multiple times when the entire venue broke out into a floor stomp which of course was fierce and bellowing in the best way possible. Their set induced an uplifting vibe throughout the crowd. Everyone was loving it and understandably so. Punch Brothers had a firm grip on the audience the entire time. They were engaging during and between songs and the way they frequently showcased each band member’s talents kept their set exciting and impressive.
It was a pleasant surprise each time they played a cover… and they played quite a few: from Beck, to Earl Scruggs, to Radiohead, even The Cars! Their last song was a tribute to Levon Helm from The Band. They unplugged their instruments and placed themselves right at the edge of the stage and played “The Weight,” encouraging the crowd to sing along. It was wonderfully engaging to say the least.
Basically, all it comes down to is that you should start listening to Punch Brothers. And once they come to your town to play a show, buy a ticket and enjoy the ride. I cannot see how anyone would be disappointed with a Punch Brothers performance. I would absolutely opt to see these guys again.