Senses Fail @ The Electric Factory


Senses Fail returned to Philadelphia’s Electric Factory on Wednesday, March 22 to rock out and reminisce on their successful second album.

The show was part of the band’s 15th anniversary tour for the 2006 album Still Searching. The tour launched in early March, and the band is travelling all over the US and even some parts of Canada throughout the month to celebrate their anniversary; each show has the support of the same opening bands.

Photo: Charley Parker

The concert kicked off with Like Pacific, a Canadian rock band from Toronto who hyped up the crowd with their hits like “Worthless Case” and “Assisted Breathing.” The band’s lead singer Jordan Black repeatedly expressed his gratitude for being able to openly perform as a gay man and still receive love and support from fans. He ended his band’s performance by pulling his boyfriend on stage, who happens to be one of the guitarists of Counterparts, another opening band.

Following Like Pacific was the band Movements, who started in 2016 with their debut EP called Outgrown Things. This group played more alternative/emo music such as “Worst Wishes” and “Vacant Home,” which features rather grave and somber lyrics but can still captivate and amp up the crowd.

Hardcore punk band Counterparts ascended the stage next, bringing a whole lot of energy and kicking and screaming with them. I couldn’t tell the difference between my heartbeat and the bass shaking my body. Their music, such as “Burn” and “Sturdy Wings,” was so intense that it invoked a mosh pit in the crowd that very closely resembled Fight Club.

Photo: Charley Parker

People on the floor became so fired up that they started throwing each other’s bodies up in the air to surf the crowd, flopping around like puppets until the body guards caught them in front of the stage. The lead singer Brendan Murphy belted his lyrics so loudly that I could feel the vibrations in my chest.

After that, it was time for the headliner. As Senses Fail stormed the stage, you could feel the heightened excitement in the room. The band started with “The Rapture,” and continued down the list of songs from Still Searching. The vibe and energy was unreal as people passionately reached out to the music to feel the rock pulsing from the band. The room was smoky and the lighting was vibrant, perfectly timed to dance with the beat.

Buddy Nielsen, the lead singer and only original member of Senses Fail, inspired the crowd in between sets, talking about his journey and telling people to “love yourself, forgive yourself, and allow yourself to be okay.”

The music from the album is based on the suffering and recovery of Nielsen as he dealt with alcohol and depression, each song telling a story of his personal experience. Songs like “Shark Attack” and “Every Day is a Struggle” express the hardships and slow transition from drugs to love. It was evident that everyone in the room could feel/relate to his lyrics, shown by intense head nodding and excessive hair flipping.

Photo: Charley Parker

As the band concluded their last song and began walking off stage, an obvious encore erupted shortly after their disappearance. They proceeded to play five songs from various other albums like Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning.

Nearly every person knew and sang along to the whole set list, making it clear that Senses Fail induces loyal and enthusiastic fans. The band engages the crowd and keeps people connected to their music throughout the show. Touring guitarist Jason Milbank with the flow and choker and skinny jeans even looked over and waved at me when I threw my hands up, and drummer Chris Hornbrook tossed his drumstick to my friend at the end of the show.

Senses Fail’s tour will continue up until April 8, and their new record is announced to release this summer.


1. “The Rapture”
2. “Bonecrusher”
3. “Sick or Sane (Fifty for a Twenty)”  
4. Can’t Be Saved  
5. “Calling All Cars”
6. “Shark Attack”
7. “Still Searching”
8. “To All the Crowded Rooms”
9. “Lost and Found”
10. “Every Day Is a Struggle”
11. “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues”
12. “Negative Space”
13. “The Priest and the Matador”