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Infamous Stringdusters at World Cafe Live- Philadelphia, PA

I’ll be honest, I’ve confused The Infamous Stringdusters (who autocorrect renames “infamous stonecutters”) with Greensky (autocorrects as Greenbelt) Bluegrass. My memories were peppered with hearing their covers. I’ve heard Infamous play an amazing cover of Walking On The Moon by The Police and Greensky played Beat It and Money For Nothing. Learning their own music is helpful and I didn’t have much chance before this show as I bought tickets two hours prior. My last Greensky show was at the glorious Capitol Theatre in Port Chester with my friend and her youngest son. That night, we didn’t stay for the whole show but had a great time. What was clear after seeing Infamous again was how much more they borrowed from the jam vibe vs Greensky. I’ll explain but first…

The opening band was the Comatose Brothers. Indeed there was a pair of brothers. While certainly talented, their set favored the 2-3 minute, up-tempo, roots Bluegrass style. It’s very much like seeing a punk or hardcore show. 10 songs in, you realize they’ve only been on stage for 20 minutes. Even without the mosh pit, it’s exhausting, although I could be reacting to the crazy schedule I’ve been living lately. I managed 3 hours of sleep after Umphrey’s and a 2-hour drive to Philly for this show. Anyhoo, the Comatose Brothers were great and I’m not just saying that because of the Brokedown Palace cover. I’m not just saying that because they set a strong jumping off point for Infamous. The Comatose Brothers really are good.

The World Cafe Live in Philly has been open since 2004 and is housed in the University District. It’s is a cafe/ bar/ stage on the first floor and a larger venue with a balcony on the lower level. The main room is wide and narrow with sound dampening panels and their logo projected in light above the wings. Instead of a rail at the stage there was a row of tables with signs asking not to interact with them. Oddly, there was a single high top table on the dancefloor as well. It was a strange scene indeed.

I’ve mentioned their covers and this how did not relent. We got a Deep Elem blues, First Tube, Scarlet, Begonias, a Terrapin Station tease, and more. The full setlist is below. Among these classics were their own songs which hold their own outside of form tropes, bluegrass stereotypes, and simple structures. Their songs had feeling, passion, danceability, and some unexpected jams. Everyone got to shine both on vocals and their instruments. The only distraction was the audience. People talking at shows happens at bar gigs and that’s fine if not expected. I don’t want to tell people how to enjoy a show but beyond comments such as “I love this song” and the like, are distracting. Talking about plans for the week, complaints about your job, etc is odd and rude no? This allowed me to move through various parts of the floor throughout the night and catch different scenes as I avoided talky-folk. All in all, the night was amazing and worth the four hours of driving. Thank you to the crew who came with and happy birthday to the one who prompted the visit!

SET 1/2
01. Freedom
02. One More Bridge
03. Deep Ellum Blues
04. Gravity
05. 17 Cents>
06. Let Me Know
07. This Old Building
08. Scarlet Begonias
09. Maxwell>
10. Blackrock>
11. First Tube>
12. Blackrock
SET 2/2
01. Devil In Disguise
02. Peace Of Mind>
03. Mountain Town
04. Soul Searching
05. Get It While You Can>
06. Terrapin Station>
07. If I Had A Hammer>
08. The Place I call Home
09. Hit Parade
10. Highwayman>
11. For What It’s Worth>
12. Home Of The Red Fox
13. Let It Go
14. Echoes Of Goodbye>
15. Not Fade Away
16. E:Going Down The Road Feeling Bad**- w/all members of Brothers Comatose

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1 Comment

  • B 3 years ago Reply

    Fantastic set!

    I saw them i. Asheville NC not long ago and had a great time. I recommend them to everybody!
    – B.H

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