The Measure [SA] / Worn in Red - live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Measure [SA] / Worn in Red

live in Philadelphia (2010)

live show

I arrived slightly late for an all-ages show at the Fire in Philadelphia, Pa., Sun., Nov. 7. A couple of dogs wandered the bar. The crowd was sparse, but at least people were buying drinks. I caught the last three or four songs from the local opening act, Factors of Four, and regretted not having arrived sooner. The group dealt in riotous female-fronted pop-punk. Think Discount and Tsunami Bomb, although on record they sound more like something off of K Records. Maybe Mirah. Frontwoman Naomi Davidoff bounced on a perpetual musical high while drummer Frank Hafto played with the biggest, goofiest grin I'd see all night. It was a good set.

What drew me to the Fire, however, was the Measure [SA]. Like Factors of Four, they sport a lady lead singer and up the punx. They''ve dropped an insane number of seven-inches over the years, and tunes like "Union Pool" and "Historical Fiction" rank among the finest songs to come out of New Jersey in recent years. I was excited to finally see them live, but I still had a few more opening acts to get through.

Worn in Red followed Factors of Four. They toured with the Measure down to the Fest in Florida, and now they were touring back up the east coast as well. This act played competent post-hardcore. They were alright; honestly, I was more concerned with getting pizza at this point in the evening. While Worn in Red has a sound that should prove palatable with fans of bearded bands that may or may not be Hot Water Music, consuming pizza is perhaps one of my top three overriding impulses.

Two slices later, I was back in time for Omar, a guy/gal Ramonsey two-piece. They were a little sloppy, but also self-deprecating and fun. Besides, who am I to deny the allure of buzzsaw guitars, thundering drums and short, loud, fast songs?

The sets were brief throughout the night, with each band playing 20-30 minutes. This was disappointingly also the case for the Measure. The band gave off this aura of indifference. Granted, they were wrapping up a pretty intense travel schedule. They soundchecked a single note together so they could do shots at the bar, which was funny at the time...until the vocals came out a bit more buried in the mix than they were for the other bands. Even in the brief time, though, the set still brought the hits, with half of the band's excellent Songs About People...And Fruit N' Shit showing up. "Hello Bastards" remains their best song, an anthem that serves as a mission statement, origin story and party jam. It kicked butt live. But considering the group just dropped a new record, Notes, you'd think they'd be eager to play it. Instead, they tried wrapping things up 12 minutes in. What the Measure bothered to play was good, but also perfunctory and underwhelming overall.