Philly, you’re a weird fucking city.
Five years and running, I’ve observed your eccentricities at the top of summer. Usually one of the first weekends that holds up to seasonal expectations. You’re a ball of blunt smoke, shea butter and high-grade SPF. But to see you shaking off a red-eyed summer is something else entirely.
Tucked into a bustling cut of Chinatown, there was no better perch suited for the task of taking in the transformation than The Trocadero, a rustic and well-kept venue housed in a historic building as central to Philly’s evolution and widely-unherladed legacy in the arts as it is to an actual map of the city. High-ceilings that have overlooked everything from jam band cults to Beanie Sigel and squad’s infamous Katt Williams beatdown. It’s a place that lends itself quite well to these seemingly-distant factions. Three tiers of seating with pillars on its ground-floor, a weathered coliseum, weird as the city it calls home.
Last night, however, those tall chambers resonated of a wildly different frequency, spilling over with the power, poise and beauty of a glowing congregation.
The bill: an assembly of badass women that are changing the face of music with genre-defying acts of post-r&b and rock & roll heroism.
Following a few opening rotations from the city’s own Gun$ Garcia, the evening commenced with a jolt of St. Beauty‘s southern-cooked melodies. The ATLien-esque duo, with all the rockstar pedigree, swung with force, lighting up the stage with lush trap-infused grooves like the Insecure-endorsed, “Caught, ” born of a regional recipe of refined, high-style funk fodder. They’d tip a hat with an immersive cover of André 3000‘s “Prototype” before exiting the stage. They’d join the crowd from the wings to look on for the upcoming performances.
You are enough — St. Beauty’s Isis Valentino