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Live Review

Khyber / Philadelphia, PA / Saturday, December 3, 2005

Adam ArcuragiAdam Arcuragi started the evening off. He is a talented singer/songwriter and while I generally don't sound the alarm and run out to see a guy and an acoustic guitar, I must admit that I think his set was well diversed and the crowd seemed to really appreciate what he was doing, which is more important to me. Arcuragiís debut album, 499 Days, will be released in February 2006 on High Two Records and features contributions from current or former members of such bands as: National Eye, The Trouble With Sweeney, and Evil Janet.

HopewellHopewell was up next and they had some really good things going on. With the words, "Ex-Mercury Rev" displayed in flyers and other promotional material, they certainly had a lot to live up to. Hopewell play that sweet-dream psych-pop, you know the kind that starts off slow and melodic, then gradually builds to something of epic proportions. "Trumpet for a Lung" is a great example of this. A member of Goldrush came on stage to help the lads out on trumpet and at the orgasmic ending of the song, the place pun intended. Well done boys. Hopewell's second album, Hopewell And The Birds Of Appetite.

GoldrushGoldrush took the stage after a powerful Hopewell performance. Maybe because of that, maybe because their music really didn't do anything for me...I must admit that after a few songs, me and a few of my mates made for the upstairs of the Khyber to watch prison-girl, cat-fight movies and refill our beverages. If anyone knows the name of the movie that was playing, please let me know asap, as it will immediately be put on my Netflix queue.

Mark GardenerAnd, for the main event of the night...MARK GARDENER (of Ride)!!! Pppffffffssssssttttt. That's the sound of the air being let out of the balloon of excitement. Dammit, I had been waiting all week to see him, but when push came to shove, he never really hit his stride....ok, ok, maybe he only played three Ride songs, and maybe that had something to do with it, but hey, as my mate Jiggsy told me, "I'm a firm believer in giving the crowd what they want." Well, I don't think Gardener did that as when he finished his set and left the stage, it was silent for about a minute, and one of his band mates, in tap-the-microphone, is-this-thing-on, type fashion, had to basically ask the crowd to cheer to an encore. Poor Mark, he came back, begrudgingly, and played 2-3 more. Me and I think, many others, expected a bit more from the Ride legend...maybe, deep down, we all just really hoped that Andy Bell would appear and a Ride concert would magically happen...hey, is that too much to ask?

--Danny London
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