Office of Future Plans / Kepone / Daria - Live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Office of Future Plans / Kepone / Daria

Live in Philadelphia (2013)

live show

With a spiffy new split out, Office of Future Plans and Daria rolled into the Fire in Philadelphia Sat., March 9, with support from GWAR offshoot Kepone. Three bands, 30-minute sets, no frills. All in all, a good night.

France's Daria went first with a tight, energetic set of alt rockers. While the English lyrics were generally forgettable, the band still kept the not quite assembled crowd going with enthusiasm. Also guitars. While Daria favors quick ‘n' short radio rockers, the band's best moments came from drawn out passages. Anytime they let the song breathe to a natural, drawn out bridge, it worked. For all their clean trappings, Daria can still get gnarly.

But way gnarlier still was the reunited Kepone. Minutemen-ish in their bar-rock-meets-punk aesthetic, Kepone were a lot looser than the other acts, and endearingly so. Big open blues riffs abounded, something the 21+ crowd really gravitated towards. Stylistically, Kepone were a wee bit sloppier than the other bands, but that gave the songs a charm all their own.

Frontman J. Robbins (Jawbox/Burning Airlines/Channels/Government Issue/probably like a bunch more bands) might not take center stage that frequently lately, but when he does, people take notice. Office of Future Plans kicked off their set with the danceable, psychedelic-tinged "Salamander," from the group's lone, self-titled full-length.

Unfortunately, the members are something of perfectionists, as drummer Darren Zentek immediately began readjusting his drums after the first number. Throughout the night, the other people took several tuning breaks without much in the way of stage banter. But when they got to the playing, it was worth it. Office emphasized the faster tracks on the full-length, such as "The Beautiful Barricades" and "Fema Coffins." Gordon Withers is a solid guitarist, but his cello lends such a significant weight to the low end that I kind of wish he just did that all the time. "Beautiful Barricades" sounds super heavy live. Indeed, Office of Future Plans thoroughly satisfied the fans before wrapping it up.