We may have had to set our clocks back an hour this past weekend, but if you were at The Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia Saturday night, you may have felt you went further back in time – to the 1980s. Holy Ghost! brought their nostalgic sounds to Philadelphia, playing in support of their sophomore album, Dynamics.
Holy Ghost! Play the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philly
Holy Ghost! is the brainchild of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel, who play along with their backing four-piece. The two grew up together, presumably adding to their uncanny rapport onstage. Synth-pop gems seem to flow out of them as easily as the dripping sweat that’s so prevalent at their rave-like shows.
Holy Ghost! first touched upon the music scene with their remixes for the likes of Cut Copy (our Artist of the Week), Phoenix, MGMT, LCD Soundsystem, and Moby. Their sound has all the markings of the DFA label’s co-founder, James Murphy. They broke out into the scene with their 2011 self-titled debut, where they established their own unique style—a mixture of electronic beats with backing synths.
Holy Ghost! played a majority of songs off Dyanmic throughout their set, including the first single “Dumb Disco Ideas,” along with “It Must Be The Weather” and “Cheap Shots.” Their set was dominated by heavy keyboards and catchy disco-inspired beats. The energy made the venue feel more like a club, with the crowd flailing their arms and dancing along to every song. The backing band added an organic sound to the electronic onslaught, which nicely differentiated their live sound from the studio recordings. Holy Ghost! did a great job of recreating the nuanced and detailed sound that’s become their M.O., a feat that many electronic acts have a hard time doing in a live setting.
The band ended the night with “Jam For Jerry,” a tribute to the late Jerry Fuchs – drummer of their label-mates, The Juan MacLean, who passed away in 2009. While beautiful, it still suited the overarching catchy rhythm of the night. It was a perfect ending. When it comes to electronic-style music, albums don’t always do it justice. Holy Ghost! adds a new element to their studio work that makes their live show a must see.
Article by Erika Reinsel