WRITTEN & PHOTOS BY: Rita Thompson
As Friday’s Gus Dapperton show at the Trocadero Balcony approached, so did the treacherous nor’easter, but my friends and I were too pumped to even think about the possibility of the show getting canceled. Unfortunately, an Instagram story of Gus’ proved us wrong, explaining, “due to some unforeseen circumstances and ‘bitchassness,’ tonights Philly show will be postponed.” Disappointing for a lot of fans, but there definitely a little silver lining for me, giving me a reason to get back into the city over my spring break this Sunday for a great show.
The little hole in the wall entrance next to the main venue at the Trocadero had a super mysterious, low-key vibe, welcoming to any avant-garde fans ready to hear some underground, new wave music. A dark, skinny staircase guided fans to a bar room fitting no more than 100 people. Surely looking like the perfect place for a personal, intimate show. The crowd waited anxiously on the floor and at the bar to hear the all together blend of pop, alternative, psychedelic and more, that is Gus Dapperton.
Dapperton took the stage around 8:45 after a great opening set by a rapper sharing the same home state of New York, Elijah Bank$y. Following Bank$y’s set, the 20 year old graced the stage rocking his ever so eccentric green bowl cut and a dope multi-colored sweatshirt. Dapperton started the night off with “Gum, Toe, and Sole,” a song from of his 2017 Debut EP, Yellow and Such, which proved to be the perfect opener. The tune got the crowd singing and dancing along to the catchy bass riff and melodious “da da da”s. After getting the crowd excited and ready to hear more good music, Dapperton made sure to introduce his band before continuing on with the show: all his buddies, and all shockingly under 18. With his two best friends on bass and drums, and his younger sister Amadelle rocking the keys, the 4 friends had a super youthful and exciting stage presence. Gus and Amadelle’s relationship really shined in their harmonies, and with loads of hype from the crowd and her front-man brother, Amadelle’s vocals definitely didn’t go unnoticed. Not to mention she absolutely killed it on their cover of “Without You” by Spooky Black.
The group had a great dynamic together, joking around on stage and undoubtedly sucking in every moment of their stardom. Although there were definitely some slip-ups throughout the show, I found the rawness of the keyboard falling, the bass string breaking, and the drummer inquiring with the crowd for a hair tie to be quite charming. Not to mention, through improvisation skills the bass player “Yendawg” seemed to completely mask the fact that he was missing his ‘A’ string for half of the set. Everyone loves a raw, uncut show, and there’s nothing better than getting to see first hand, the future of music, in such an intimate environment.
Dapperton satisfied the audience for sure, performing every song a fan could wish for, from 2016 upto his most recent EP released in February, You Think You’re a Comic! Everyone in the crowd was moving their feet during the hits like “I’m Just Snacking,” and were amused by Dapperton’s jokes and banter between songs. I was also really impressed by the bands ability to cover such a wide array of songs, with impressive renditions of Spooky Black, Neyo, and Beatles songs. All 3 covers were great, but the show-closer, “Twist and Shout” definitely took the cake. Dapperton was able to show off all his best features such as his raspy voice and his goofy dance moves with this cover. As he said a few times in the show, “I’m gonna be dancing up on stage and I hope you guys wanna match that same energy out there.” Well, the crowd definitely did during that song. Gus Dapperton and his buddies/bandmates put on a seriously fun, talent-full show and I cannot wait to see them grow and popularize in the future. If you’re into artists like Mac Demarco, Yellow Days, or Homeshake, I highly recommend checking out some of Gus Dapperton tunes, or even catching a show to see the makings of a future star!
- Gum, Toe and Sole
- Moodna, Once With Grace
- Beyond Emends
- Amadelle, With Love
- Without You (Spooky Black Cover)
- Let Me Love You (Ne-Yo Cover)
- Prune, You Talk Funny
- The Fool
- I’m Just Snacking
- Twist and Shout (Beatles Cover)