Photos + Review: The Hotelier at Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA)

Bellows (Brooklyn, NY), Told Slant (Brooklyn, NY), and The Hotelier (Worcester, MA)
July 13th, 2016
Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA

The other night I saw one of my favorite bands, The Hotelier with support from Bellows and Told Slant.  Bellows and Told Slant consist of mostly the same live members, but have two different sounds.  Bellows who were the more upbeat of the two played first.  I had never heard their music before, but I was impressed.  Their songs are catchy and make you want to move around.  After their set, Bellows vocalist Oliver Kalb shifted to his left while Felix Walworth came up from the drum riser to the front of the stage for Told Slant’s set.  Walworth sings and drums with such passion and it’s easy to tell how much his songs resonate with fans when they scream his lyrics back at him.  Told Slant’s songs may be sad, but they allow for an emotional performance that sounded incredible.

I hadn’t seen The Hotelier in a few years before this show, but I was quickly reminded of how great they are live.  The band came out to a spotlight on vocalist Christian Holden as he sang “Goodness Pt. 1” acapella.  I don’t think I have ever gotten goose bumps at a show before until that moment.  After that brilliant opening, the rest of the band came in for “Goodness Pt. 2” before getting into more songs from their newest release, Goodness.  The bands all expressed their nervousness with the enormous size of Union Transfer, but it was only fitting with how huge the new songs sound live.  Their set was split up into blocks of songs from Goodness and their previous release Home, Like Noplace Is There.  With how different the albums sound, it was nice being able to get a little of both.  Towards the end of their set, they played “An Introduction to the Album” and with the quieter beginning to the song, you can hear every person in the crowd screaming every word.  It sounded so amazing.  They then closed with “The Scope of All of This Rebuilding” before coming back out and playing “Dendron” for encore.  “Dendron” is such a powerful song that I couldn’t ask for a more fitting ending to an unbelievable night.

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