PHOTOS BY: Jeremy Elvas
WRITTEN BY: Tim Shermer
A short two weeks after the release of their third full-length LP Stuffed & Ready, Los Angeles rock trio Cherry Glazerr brought their live act to Philly for the first time since 2017, playing a blistering set in front of hundreds at First Unitarian Church last Thursday.
Vocalist, lead guitarist, and frontwoman Clementine Creevy took the stage in front of an enormous inflatable cherry prop with her bandmates Tabor Allen and Devin O’Brien after an idiosyncratic opening set by Sneaks, the pop/punk/hip-hop project of DMV native Eva Moolchan. Drawing from drum-and-bass and spoken-word sensibilities, Sneaks’s performance included many of the songs from her recent Merge release Highway Hypnosis and provided an alluring contrast to the headline performance to come.
The show began the same way Stuffed & Ready does, with what was probably one of the first ever live offerings of “Ohio” (this being the band’s sixth concert since the album’s release). Creevy’s vocals were nearly swallowed whole by her rhythm section and her own unabashed shredding, but she got the point across all the same in a performance that not only breathed life into a brand-new song but also served as assurance that this was not going to be one of those shows that takes a crowd four or five songs to get into.
Clem’s vocals were soon turned up to higher levels as the band continued with a balance of new songs and selections from both of their previous records, including “Had Ten Dollaz,” “That’s Not My Real Life,” and “Nurse Ratched,” hardly ever pausing for more than a few seconds in between. The mosh pit materialized in earnest on “White’s Not My Color This Evening.”
Strung out on power chords, Cherry Glazerr took a rare moment to chat with the audience about half a dozen songs into the program before taking things in a new direction. What started as a show characterized by noise and intensity became a display of sonic versatility and Creevy’s distinct ability to rip the hell out of a guitar solo. Creevy and bassist Devin O’Brien, on his first album-supporting tour with the band, could often be seen facing each other to absolutely lock in the groove while she was away from the mic. They visited classics and deep cuts alike, at one point playing the original stripped-down version of “Teenage Girl” as heard on Haxel Princess and then following it with “the metal version.” All three singles from Stuffed & Ready were played during this stretch, as well as “Trash People” and “Grilled Cheese.”
With the bulk of this Valentine’s night show in the rear-view, each note in the cathartic “Stupid Fish” felt increasingly deliberate. One of Stuffed & Ready’s most memorable tracks upon first listen, it was a relief to see how effortlessly this one translated from the studio to the stage. The remainder of the main set was an oasis for Apocalipstick devotees—this reviewer included—who may have felt deprived of material from the band’s 2017 magnum opus. “Sip O’ Poison” broke necks; the instrumental “Apocalipstick” went on for at least twice as long as it does on the record until its rhapsodic ostinato finally landed on the fattest of 6ths.
The inevitable encore started with a cool cover of what many in attendance instantly recognized as LCD Soundsystem’s “Time to Get Away,” which segued into definitive fan favorite “Told You I’d Be with the Guys” in all its feminist garage-punk glory. Creevy gave the octaval opening riff some room to breathe, throwing off fans eager to join in on the lyrics, before finally delivering the first words of a performance for which the only imaginable complaint could be that a crew wasn’t there to record it and put it on a live album for posterity.
Cherry Glazerr will continue their run across the US and Canada, playing virtually every night for the next month before heading to Europe in the spring, where they will play in eight different countries. They’re also slated for festival appearances the likes of Austin City Limits and Bonnaroo.
Had Ten Dollaz
That’s Not My Real Life
White’s Not My Color This Evening
Teenage Girl (Metal)
Sip O’ Poison
Time to Get Away (LCD Soundsystem cover)
Told You I’d Be with the Guys