Tin Angel show provides comfort via ambiance and folksy-styled music


My visit to The Tin Angel was in a word, intimate.

The venue, located at 20 S. 2nd St., offered limited space, which gently discouraged movement as soon as the lights dimmed to indicate the start of the show. With this being said, attendees were welcomed into a cozy space lit strictly by candles decorating small tables that claimed most of the available space in the room. A compact stage demanded the attention of guests while a small bar at the rear lured patrons from their seats in between sets.

The Tin Angel provided an intimate atmosphere with tables lit by candlelight. (Photo by Erin Blewett)
The Tin Angel provided an intimate, relaxed atmosphere with tables lit by candlelight. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

Supporting local music appeared to be the theme of the night.

Justin Patrick Foley, a 2012 Temple alumnus with a Bachelor’s in Film and Media Arts, opened the show. Foley took the stage with only an acoustic guitar. He played mostly original music with an exception of a cover of “Take it Easy” by The Eagles in lieu of the recent death of their guitarist, Glenn Fray. His music spoke to those in the audience who were struggling to get back on their feet, himself included.

The second track he played, entitled “Blue Blood,” included lyrics like “forcing myself to write down things I’ve never said.” This idea of moving forward was a recurring motif throughout Foley’s set. His set, consisting of six songs, was a fitting introductory act. Foley captivated attendees with his easygoing nature and humor, frequently speaking to the audience in a way that made me feel like Foley and I had been friends for years. His style, self-proclaimed as “urban soul and folk,” lived up to expectations.

Justin Foley (Photo by Erin Blewett)
Justin Foley graduated from Temple back in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Film and Media Arts. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

After the conclusion of Foley’s set, guests were provided with a ten minute intermission in which they could go outside, get drinks or simply sit and await the next act. These intermissions would be a regular part of the show, intervening between each act. Once this first intermission concluded, Vessna Scheff would subsequently take the stage.

Scheff mesmerized the room with her sweet lyrics and equally as pleasant demeanor. Not a word was uttered during her set, she captivated every person in the room –  myself included. Scheff stood stationary for the majority of her set, playing a ukelele with a trumpet playing softly in the background. Her lyrics were bewitching. My personal favorite was an original entitled, “You Carved My Love.” Her style was reminiscent of neo-soul artist Corrinne Bailey Rae with an indie twist. After her set concluded, and audience member said that he felt as though Scheff was “staring into his soul” for the duration of her set – a nod toward her personable nature, one that resonated with everyone in attendance.

Vessna Scheff captivated her audience with her sweet presence and equally gentle demeanor. (Photo by Erin Blewett)
Vessna Scheff captivated her audience with her sweet presence and gentle demeanor. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

Following Scheff was a one song cameo by the female duo Cicada Jade that was included by request of the drummer for Post War Dream, Jason Gooch. Post War Dream took the stage following Cicada Jade. Post War Dream, the most anticipated act of the night is made up of two consistent band members. From their creation in 2014, Post War Dream has amassed a decent following along with a notable amount of attention from Philadelphia based record labels and radio stations. With this being said, the band announced their gig at Radio 104.5’s “Live at Five” show in March. The two were joined by Cicada Jade’s pianist, as I later learned that it was not uncommon for the boys to incorporate guest musicians into their shows. Their music was reminiscent of The Lumineers, with the more deliberate nature of bands such as Kings of Leon and Mumford and Sons.

Post War Dream (Photo by Erin Blewett)
Post War Dream has gained considerable attention and announced to their fans that they would be playing at Radio 104.5’s “Live at Five” in March. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

The show was concluded with a performance by a Folk Country band with an Indie twist, Rivers. I was not aware that the group from Harrisburg was on the bill before I arrived at Tin Angel that evening. To be perfectly honest, I almost didn’t stay until the end – having seen Post War Dream, I felt my job was done for the night. After having an awkward run-in backstage with singer and guitarist Vincent Yarnell in which I promptly had to yank my foot out of my mouth, I unknowingly told the lead singer about the difficulties of getting attractive pictures of performing musicians. I felt I should stay, and prove my competency at concert photography, and I am thanking the music gods that I stayed.

Rivers had the audience in the palm of their hands from the minute they stepped on the stage all the way to the end of the night. The trio consisting of Joe Schaefer, Matt Sinkovitz and Vincent Yarnell created an experience for everyone in the room. Yarnell’s swoon-worthy vocals in conjunction with his banjo and acoustic guitar skills, along with schaefer on the upright bass and contributing vocals, and Sinkovitz on percussions left an impression that no one in the Tin Angel will forget.

Vincent Yarnell of the band Rivers (Photo by Erin Blewett)
Vincent Yarnell of the band Rivers swooned the crowd with his melodic voice in the already soothing atmosphere.  (Photo by Erin Blewett)

I have never been a fan of country inspired music, and as much as I hate to admit it – I have been listening to their CD on repeat from the moment I arrived home that night. The band requested nothing but hugs and whiskey in exchange for their merchandise, a nod to the effortlessly comfortable atmosphere in the room. Their eclectic style concluded a night on a high note that left everyone stomping their feet and snapping their fingers. Quite frankly, Rivers stole the show.

Philadelphia’s music scene is constantly evolving, and after Jan. 29, I know to keep a closer eye on the local folk inspired groups of Philly. Supporting local music is so incredibly important, and for those of us lucky enough to live in Philadelphia – we have been blessed with a scene that has something for everyone.

The Tin Angel provided a calming air and set the tone for the show. (Photo by Erin Blewett)
The Tin Angel provided a calming air and set the tone for the show. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

Foley Tracklist-

  • Hell or Highwater
  • Blue Blood
  • Elizabeth
  • Two Bit
  • Take It Easy By The Eagles
  • Reasons

Scheff Tracklist-

  • You Carved My Love
  • Autumn Skies
  • Watercolors
  • Echoes
  • Nodding
  • All Over You
The band Post War Dream had guest musicians accompany them during their performance. (Photo by Erin Blewett)
The band Post War Dream had guest musicians accompany them during their performance. (Photo by Erin Blewett)

Post War Dream Tracklist-

  • Boots In The Mud
  • We’ll Be Just Fine
  • Fading In
  • You Loved
  • I Remember
  • Simple
  • 64 Impala
  • Cold Out There










Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.