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Pattern is Movement @ Boot & Saddle.

April 7, 2014

PatternIsMovement (16 of 18)Text by Laura Fanciullacci. Images by Grace Dickinson.

At one point on Thursday night, Andrew Thiboldeaux of Pattern is Movement requested that the lights be turned down a bit. And then a bit more. A soft red glow hung upon the stage as the crowd collectively lent their ears, trying to anticipate what was to come.

“Our next song is a cover,” Chris Ward, Pattern is Movement’s lively percussionist, told the people packed in at Boot & Saddle. “You guys cool if we get sexy? Are you ready to get sexy?”

Quickly the room was transported to a warm summertime day as Thiboldeaux belted out a soulful D’Angelo cover, “Untitled (How Does It Feel?),” showing off his falsetto vocal range, which trailed gently over the bobbing heads of the audience.

Thiboldeaux’s smooth vocals, synth and bass was nicely complemented by Ward, his long-time friend and band partner, whose heavy percussion certainly stood its own ground throughout this highly anticipated record-release show, that featured support from Yellow Otsrich.

Twelve years ago, Thiboldeaux and Ward founded Pattern is Movement in Philadelphia, going through many stylistic explorations and membership changes in their band’s history. It’s been six years since the last full-length Pattern is Movement album, 2008’s All Together, a collection that fit in with the whimsical indie-rock movement at the time.

Now with fewer band members, the original two-piece has emerged with a slightly different sound and self-titled album after their hiatus. Although the group has been described as everything from jazz-pop to hip-hop to indie-rock, it would be unfair and impossible to compartmentalize, especially when many of their genre-defying songs venture into several musical territories. That being said, fans are pleased that the duo is tapping into their R&B roots for some of the tracks on their fourth album.

During the performance, many were looking out for the new material, but the duo didn’t mind reaching into their old catalog as well, playing songs such as the quirky “Peach Trees” and “Sound of Your Voice” from All Together.

One could start to detect the transition into the recent songs when things got a tad more experimental, electronic, and mellow. Songs such as “Climb to Me,” “Light of the World,” and “Gone My Love” showed Pattern is Movement’s fresh outlook and musical risks that they weren’t afraid to take in the new album. Slow rhythms are accompanied by a wide array of electronic tricks and orchestral elements – groupings that could easily turn cacophonous – but Pattern is Movement seamlessly makes these sounds wholly digestible and soothing.

If anything has not changed in the band’s history, it’s certainly the tenderness and passion in which both band members play any of their songs, made especially apparent in the popularity of the D’Angelo cover.

The set ended on an upbeat note, bringing back the very popular “Bird” from their last album. The Philly crowd was sad the show was over but looked forward to partying with the members at the bar afterwards.

Thiboldeaux and Ward both commented on how their nationwide tour has been rewarding, but noted that they missed the distinctive attitude that one can only find in the city of Philadelphia and were looking forward to be back for this homecoming performance.

“Everyone is mellow out on the West Coast and that’s great,” Thiboldeaux said. “But I sorta just wanted someone to call me a punk ass.”

And then an audience member happily granted his wish.

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