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RECAP: Norwegian Arms celebrate debut record at Johnny Brenda’s

It was a big day for Norwegian Arms last Friday. The world didn’t end, allowing them to release their debut record Wolf Like A Stray Dog to a packed crowd at Johnny Brenda’s. Their Mayan Apocalypse party also included sets from fellow local bands Night Panther, Laser Background, and Pattern is Movement (the duo’s first live performance in a year).

The seeds for Friday night’s triumphant show were planted many months beforehand, when singer-songwriter Brendan Mulvihill traveled to Tomsk, Russia—one of the oldest towns in the country’s large Siberia region. Mulvihill spent a year in the region thanks to the reception of a Fulbright Scholarship. His experiences in the cold and desolate area led him to write the album that became Friday night’s release.

Siberia certainly isn’t a popular destination for American travels, and the unique nature of Mulvihill’s trip has led to one of the year’s most unique and wonderful albums. Armed with a mandolin, Brendan’s challenges in the freezing temperatures somehow translated into a joyful, energetic album—traits that happen to also translate very well on stage, too. Friday night’s show brought the album to life and joy to all in the crowded room, as the band and its fans celebrated life on a night that was hilariously billed as the world’s last.

Below, check out the setlist and a quick slideshow of pictures from the show. Also, check out PilgrimsProgress’s YouTube channel to watch video of nearly the entire concert (including the openers).

Norwegian Arms @ Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA – Friday, December 21, 2012
01 And Then I Found Myself in the Taiga
02 At the Formerly British Council Supported English Centre
03 Wolf Like a Stray Dog
04 She Lives in a Secret Town
05 My New Toy Piano
06 Soviet Bicylce
07 EZ a LVR Goes West
08 Proof of an Art Object
09 Thinking About You (Frank Ocean cover)
10 Tired of Being Cold
11 Kiva Ikva
12 Tramplebeasts
13 Visions
14 Pu-Erh
——encore break——
15 Jitterbug
16 Run! Rah! Run! Rah!

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