PHOTOS: Car Seat Headrest at Union Transfer

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PHOTOS & WRITTEN BY: Maria Dragone

On September 19th, Car Seat Headrest came to Union Transfer and consequently blew our eardrums out (in a good way!). Starting off the show was Don Babylon, a Philadelphia based trio whose music was reminiscent of a mash between surf rock and punk, with some much appreciated comedy thrown in between songs.

Next taking the stage was Naked Giants, whose performance was nothing short of extravagant. From bassist Gianni Aiello jumping and dancing on stage with a chaotic energy to drummer Henry LaVallee completing several dynamic and high-energy drum solos, there’s no doubt that this trio gave an absorbing performance.

After a suspenseful hour and a half of waiting, finally came the main act, Car Seat Headrest, with an army of musicians in pursuit. Lead singer Will Toledo was accompanied by not one, but two drummers, two guitarists, and one keyboard/bassist, with the musicians from Naked Giants making a reappearance for the set. Opening with an intense cover of Lou Reed’s “Waves of Fear,” the audience quickly went from casual head bopping to frenzied dancing. As the band got into songs such as “Bodys” and their hit song “Fill in the Blank,” the venue filled with the sounds of powerful and catchy guitar riffs, the charming and emotional voice of Will Toledo, and deafening sounds of the audience singing along.

Closing with their epic thirteen-minute-long song “Beach Life-In-Death,” Car Seat Headrest blew away the venue with their energy, and then casually left the stage as if it was nothing special. Yet the band performed a high energy and powerful set that left everyone ecstatic and craving more. In fact, after chanting and cheering for an encore for several minutes, before all felt hopeless, the band came back on stage to perform a few more songs, Toledo joking they “forgot to play a few”.  Audiences left the venue with ears ringing and hearts full from the quality performance. Personal favorite songs from the show include “Cute Thing,” “America (Never Been),” and “Something Soon.” Car Seat Headrest’s performance left me longing for more, and I would definitely recommend seeking them out the next time they come to Philly (I know I will be)!


  1. Waves of Fear (Lou Reed)
  2. Bodys
  3. Fill in the Blank
  4. (Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn’t a Problem)
  5. Cute Thing
  6. Sober to Death
  7. America (Never Been)
  8. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
  9. Destroyed By Hippie Powers
  10. Something Soon
  11. Tell Me When My Light Turns Green (Dexys Midnight Runners)
  12. Beach Life-In-Death