Andy Hull, Casey Crescenzo and Nathan Hussey @ Underground Arts.
The night was a simple, intimate affair. Each artist walked to the stage, picked up their acoustic guitar and performed sets that were as much conversations with the crowd as performances.
Nathan Hussey, the lead singer of All Get Out, was the first to play, starting with “Being Cold.”
Hussey’s performance dripped with snark and wit. After “Being Cold,” he said, “This next song is called squirrel. If you don’t want to buy an album about squirrels, that’s fine with me. It’s already made millions.”
The song was less about squirrels and more about life and Hussey’s analysis of his navigation through it.
At the end of Hussey’s set, he wanted the crowd to know two things: “One, this is the most applause I’ve ever gotten and two, thank you to Andy and Casey for taking me out on this tour.”
The crowd was as much a part of the show as the performers. A fan who may or may not have been drunk shouted, “Turn up!”
Hussey retorted, “Shut up, you can hear it better.”
The response was greeted with laughter and applause. It was all in good fun as Hussey qualified his quip with a lighthearted, “Or you can do what you want.”
Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter kept up the humor and intimacy that permeated the night. He reminisced on stage about how he and Hull met back in 2010.
“The first thing we did, having never met each other, was wrestle in front of our bands,” said Crescenzo. “It wasn’t aggressive or erotic. We just saw each other and knew we had to do this incredibly stupid thing and we’ve been best friends ever since.”
Crescenzo’s lyrics and vocals were just as passionate and personal as his conversations with the crowd between songs. Applause exploded when Crescenzo used a guttural croon to sing the lyrics “I can’t see the light house” from “Waves.” The mere mention of The Dear Hunter, their album The Color Spectrum or Manchester Orchestra ignited a round of applause. Crescenzo thanked Hull for being there during one of the roughest points in his life and being the catalyst for Crescenzo continuing The Dear Hunter.
When Hull finally graced the stage, Underground Arts was packed from the stage to the entrance. Hull’s first words when he stepped to the microphone were, “Casey, what a dick. I’m so sorry you had to suffer through 30 minutes of that beautiful voice. We’re still not quite sure what to think of that wrestling match.”
The crowd listened with a quiet reverence. During a few songs, like “Tony the Tiger” and “Deer,” a low chorus from the crowd could be heard underneath Hull’s voice.
Before his last song and encore (any fan can guess what song this was), Hull thanked the crowd.
“I’m always amazed that people give a shit,” he said, referring to the adulation his music receives.
Then he serenaded the crowd off into the cold Philly air with “Sleeper 1972,” giving fans one more reason in a long list to give a shit.