Yesterday I had the pleasure of hitting up the Safetysuit show in Philly at The Foundry. Let me start by saying what a cool little venue this place is! Ok, so it’s technically a venue in a venue? (How meta!) The Foundry is located inside The Fillmore; it’s an intimate upstairs area with a decent sized bar, red leather booth seating with tables along the far wall, a few neat-o leather couches towards the back, and a smaller sized stage located to the left of the entryway. The joint wasn’t huge but it was the perfect size for the crowd we had. Not once during the show did I feel at all cramped or crushed while I was in the pseudo-pit area.
Opening for Safetysuit was a newcomer kid from South Africa named Connell Cruise. For those of you not familiar (like I wasn’t up until yesterday evening) this boy has some serious pipes on him. Like… holy crap. I usually go in to opening acts with low expectations because, let’s face it, we’ve all seen that home-town crew that thinks they’re hot shit but sounds like a cat yowling over the sound your high school nemesis pulling donuts in the parking lot. But this kid blew me the hell away. He did a short set including a few personal songs about falling in love with a girl who won’t let you come home to meet her folks (to be fair she was a princess, like… an actual honest to god princess. This dude… dated… a princess?!) and another highlighting the perfect response to when someone tells you “I just want to be friends”. He also did something hella cool by inviting local Philly artist Mackenzie Johnson up on stage to duet a song called “Let it Go”. I was able to snag a short clip from his most well-known song “Into the Wild” just to give you all an idea of just how killer this kid’s talent is live. I was impressed, entertained, and I was left actually wanting a longer set for an opening act for the first time since I saw Magic Man open for PANIC! at the Disco last summer. Just excellent.
Connel Cruise – “Into the Wild” Live (Clip):
Safetysuit opened with their newest single “Looking Up” to a screaming crowd that have waiting 3 long years to see them come back around. Lead singer, Douglas Brown, even made note of this looking out into the crowd after their opening set with open arms saying “PHILADELPHIA! YOU CAME BACK!”. Of course the crowd absolutely erupted. Doug went on to say how moving and humbling it was to have everyone in the crowd knowing that they all stuck around despite the touring dry spell since 2012.
Safetysuit – “Let Go” Live:
The entire vibe of the show was so laid back despite the energy of the performance. These guys are just the kind of artists that you feel like you want to invite over for a few beers on a Saturday afternoon. I think that might be why they draw such a diverse crowd. Looking around the audience the age range had to be from preteen to mid-60’s. And every last one of them was into it. They did a rockin cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and may or may not have choked me up a bit (big girls don’t cry though, right?). They also gave us the honor of previewing two new songs. “Numbers or Faith” may be my new favorite Safetysuit song and no, I’m not overselling it. It’s a song that talks a lot about the state of the world and the way we choose the handle it. It’s powerful. But I’ll let you judge for yourselves:
Safetysuit – “Numbers or Faith” Live:
They also previewed another new one called “Pause” which is a really intimate piece about taking the time to really appreciate every moment in life as it comes. If these two songs are any inclination I think it’s safe to say that new Safetysuit is definitely gonna knock us to the floor with strong lyrical messages with some pretty intense melodies to back it up.
And leave it to these guys to do something completely out there. Towards the end of the set Doug decided to grab on to the rafters and swing himself, monkey-bar style, into the crowd where he dropped down to finish out his song. He also went around and took selfies in the crowd and even snagged a girls phone and took a video on stage of himself and his band mates for her. But that wasn’t really the out there part… Most bands throw guitar picks and drum sticks into the audience, which they did! But towards the end of the set, and this is true, Doug takes off his Nike’s, pulls out a Sharpie, signs them and, I shit you not, HUCKS THEM INTO THE FUCKING CROWD. Yep. Dude threw his sneakers into the audience. Funniest part? My boyfriend CAUGHT one of the damn things. Well… that is until the girl behind him went all Walking Dead on him and tried to claw his arm off for it after she slapped his glasses off his face. Needless to say he let her have it because his appendages and prescription lenses are a little more important that Doug’s sweaty shoes. It was kind of a cool thing to do though, can’t say I’ve seen any other artist do that before. (Don’t feel too bad for our lost memorabilia, the boyfriend was able to snatch a guitar pick out of the air about 15 minutes prior so we still got pretty lucky!)
Safetysuit – “Apology” Live:
They played a 12 song setlist and returned for a 4 song encore which included a lovely acoustic version of “Never Stop” which Doug prefaced by saying “We received a flood of emails when we announced this tour asking if we could dedicated this song to loved ones who wants to propose to their significant others during our show. We obviously couldn’t make everyone happy with that request but if you were one of those people…[whispering] now’s your chance.” Judging by the lack of screaming, I don’t believe anyone got engaged at our show but it was still a pretty cool experience to have the guys unplug for an acoustic piece. They ultimately closed with “On Your Side” and called it a night.
Overall: Incredible show, awesome venue, great opening act. Couldn’t have asked for a better night at The Foundry!
Setlist for Safetysuit @ The Foundry 02/17/16
-Something I Said
-Staring At It
-Numbers or Faith
-Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen Cover)
-Someone Like You
-Beat Of Your Heart
-Get Around This
-Never Stop (Acoustic Version)
-On Your Side