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Recap: The Spinto Band @ Johnny Brenda’s

Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday night was filled with the kind of warm, welcoming energy you might find at a homecoming game for the state football champs as Wilmington’s The Spinto Band started their set. The guys seemed to soak in the energy, turning out a lively, dance-filled performance of their brand of indie pop/rock tunes that seem familiar but similarly fresh.

After a totally unnecessary but hilarious standup routine/introduction to the stage by some guy named Patrick (who many fans standing behind me were aggressively disdainful of), the band played a set that featured some old crowd favorites from early albums. The real star of the night, though, was their new album Cool Cocoon. Although they didn’t get to it until almost six songs in, they ended up playing more than half of the album. “Shake It Off” was a great representation of what this band can do—a slow pace and a slightly strange melody lead into a great series of harmonies, and those harmonies only get better in person. “Amy + Jen,” a track that sounds like the lovechild of Telekinesis and The Clientele, was just as refreshing as lemonade—sunny and infectious. It made the entire crowd dance a little.

Speaking of dancing, I cannot imagine a group of guys that would be more fun to hang out with at the Barbary. Throughout “Muesli,” the entire band (save the drummer, of course) did little island-y jigs that were too cute to dismiss. That energy spread through the entire crowd, even making the older folks dip their wives (and mistresses) all across that dance floor.

If there was any fault, it was that the sound balance occasionally left the delicate falsettos of the band fighting against the relentless bass of the drums. It was a shame when it happened, but in most cases, the crowd’s chanting, especially in sing-a-long “Na Na Na” and old favorite “Oh Mandy,” rendered microphones useless anyway. We were all members of the band at the point, and I doubt The Spinto Band would have it any other way. — Darren White

The Spinto Band @ Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA – February 16, 2013
01 The Living Things
02 Summer Grof
03 Trust vs. Mistrust
04 Take It
05 Brown Boxes
06 Shake It Off
07 Later On
08 Memo
09 Look Away
10 Amy + Jen
11 Leave Yourself Alone
12 Spy vs. Spy
13 What I Love
14 Na Na Na
15 Oh Mandy
16 Direct to Helmet
17 Mountains
18 ?
19 Late

Note: Setlist courtesy of The Key.

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