WRITTEN BY: Ross Aronow
PHOTOS BY: Santo Donia
The Philadelphia DIY scene is truly something special. It’s in these basement shows where beautiful music can be experienced on the most intimate and genuine level. The most recent show at West Philly’s Lizard Lounge 215 was no exception. On this light bill, local acts Bad Heaven Ltd. and Americanadian played alongside Rhode Island’s NOVA ONE. Although bringing different sounds to the table, these three bands meshed really well and made for a very fun night.
Right away, Bad Heaven Ltd. filled the basement with their nostalgic indie-punk sound, showing influence of early Modest Mouse and Dinosaur Jr. The four-piece continued to impress as their set progressed, throwing in perfected vocal harmonies and foot-triggered guitar loops that added an extra edge to their sound. The packed basement fell into the groovy beat, frantically bopping along. The band concluded with an excellent shoegaze jam that led to a frenzy of loud feedback (the good kind) and smashed guitar amps, circling back to a contained, tight groove bringing their set to a finish.
Next up was the touring band on the bill, NOVA ONE. The dream-pop, two-piece, brought a very unique sound that is not so present in the Philly house show scene. Their slow, mesmerizing, hypnotic songs had hints of Beach House and Angel Olsen, made even more impressive that it was all being done by two guitarists. One of the many highlights of the set was a cover of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are.” The song was reimagined to fit their reverb heavy, psychedelic style that forced the room to a standstill; every single person was left fixated. To bring their set to a close, NOVA ONE stunned the crowd with a choreographed dance. After clearing some space in the basement, the duo began their dance to The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek.” This great masquerade brought a fantastic set to a triumphant close, leaving fans eager for more.
Finally, Americanadian took the floor to close out the night. As regulars in the scene, the indie-rock group drew people to the basement the second the guitar rang out. Americanadian engaged the crowd with a high-octane energy that anybody could have a good time listening to. Even with rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Abby Woodcock not present for the show, the group played off each other with the same infectious charisma. Americanadian preformed tracks off their freshman album, including a single to be released in early November. Closing their set with their Spotify hit, “Peachy,” the whole basement was dancing and having a great time while a very friendly and courteous mosh pit persisted all the way through.
The Lizard Lounge 215 hosted a classic Philly basement show and brought some bands that, undoubtedly, will be seen on bills in the near future. You can find all the bands listed on Spotify and all major streaming services.