WRITTEN & PHOTOS BY: Jessica Gambino
What better way to wrap up a Sunday night than vibing out to the smooth, synthy sounds of Homeshake? Based in Montreal, Homeshake is the solo project of Peter Sagar, who is known as the former guitar player for Mac Demarco’s live band. Sagar has been creating music as Homeshake since 2012, releasing his first mixtape, The Homeshake Tape, in early 2013 and following up with Dynamic Meditation just a few months later. After leaving Mac Demarco’s live band in 2014 to focus on his solo project, Sagar has released three full-length albums. The most recent album, Fresh Air, just hit its one year anniversary earlier this month.
I’ve never been to the First Unitarian Church for a show before, so I was very intrigued to see what it would be like. I was super excited that they would still be performing since Sagar had posted a tweet earlier that day stating that he had the flu.
The venue was smaller than I had expected, but that made me even more excited as it meant I could get closer to the band. The opening band, Lexie, kicked off the show with a handful of upbeat tunes to get the energy flowing. They looked pretty young, most likely somewhere in their late teens. Their music was simple and playful, and the tasteful guitar licks mixed perfectly with the delicate vocals of the singer.
At most of the concerts I’ve been to, the crowd goes wild when the main performers take their first
steps onto the stage. Yet the crowd at this show seemed to have somewhat of a mutual understanding with the musicians. As soon as Peter Sagar and the rest of his band took the stage, the crowd remained relatively quiet, not making too much of a fuss (with the exception of the occasional guy jokingly yelling, “I LOVE YOU”). It was something I’ve never experienced before, it truly made it feel like there was no boundary between the musicians and the crowd. After setting up his equipment, Pete informed the crowd that he had the flu and that they would be playing 16 songs with no break. The crowd didn’t seem to mind, as Sagar admitted that he’s not much of a talker between songs, anyway.
The band kicked it off with a slow, mesmerizing performance of “Hello Welcome,” the first track on the latest album, Fresh Air. It was a perfect track to open with, as the slow tempo and smooth guitar riff is the musical equivalent of what I would describe as the feeling during the first few moments upon waking up in the morning; when you’re just beginning to open your eyes and stretch and muster up enough energy to get ready for the day. After the slow intro, the band immediately followed with an upbeat performance of “She Can’t Leave Me Here Alone Tonight,” with the prominent drum beat providing a nice contrast to the previous song.
One of the more energetic parts of the show was when they played the song, “Every Single Thing,” one of the more popular tracks from the last album. The bass line alone is enough to get you grooving, so the addition of the dubbed vocals and synth are the icing on top of the cake! The crowd went nuts. During the performance of “Faded”, Sagar couldn’t help but take sips of tea during the vocal breaks of the song, and during “Khmlwugh,” it became clear that it was getting increasingly more difficult for Peter to perform.
Nevertheless Sagar persevered and gave an energetic performance for the last half of the show. The band captured the attention of everyone in the crowd when they began playing “Give It To Me,” one of Homeshake’s most popular songs. He kept the energy up by following with a bubbly performance of the song, “Making A Fool Of You,” from their first full-length album, In the Shower. The song perfectly reflected the playful energy of the crowd, as everyone bobbed their heads to the beat and swayed in unison.
I was quite impressed with Homeshake’s live performance. Since most of their music relies heavily on electronic instruments, I was curious how the live versions of the songs were going to compare to the album version. Overall, everything sounded great live — if not better. One specific moment of the show that really blew me away was the performance of the song, “This Way”, which is somewhat of a deep track from their latest album. There was something about hearing that main melody live that was so much more magical in person. It certainly allowed me to feel a deeper appreciation for the song.
The final song, “Home At Last” was a perfect close to the show. It seemed especially fitting for Pete, as “at last” he could finally finish and get some rest. The show ended exactly how I expected it would: Pete thanking the crowd for coming, and the band members waving goodbye and just walking off the stage. Despite feeling under the weather, Pete and his band managed to put on a great show and get the crowd vibing without even putting in much of an effort. I’ll be sure to catch Homeshake again the next time they come to Philly!
- Hello Welcome
- She Can’t Leave Me Here Alone Tonight
- Every Single Thing
- Getting Down Pt II (He’s Cooling Down)
- Call Me Up
- Fresh Air
- I Don’t Wanna
- Give It To Me
- Making A Fool Of You
- TV Volume
- This Way
- Home At Last