Plants and Animals @ Johnny Brenda’s with Wintersleep and Upperfields.
Text and images by Tyler Horst.
A posse of Canadians made yet another appearance at Johnny Brenda’s last Wednesday. And no, this time it was not Justin Bieber and his crew. Plants and Animals, a Montreal-based indie rock band headlined a show at the Fishtown bar with supporting acts Wintersleep and Upperfields.
The Philadelphia-based Upperfields opened the evening with their sweeping, anthemic folk-rock. The brightness of vocalist Shaun Gold’s voice set a positive mood for the night.
Wintersleep, the Nova Scotia-based band on tour with Plants and Animals, kicked things up a few levels. Their name runs contrary to the driving rock they tend to favor, performing several songs with a three-guitar arrangement that filled the room with sound. The Canadian act also seems to borrow influence from their neighbors in the south, with Americana-tinged numbers like the arena-ready “Amerika,” which was an easy crowd favorite.
The final act of the night, Plants and Animals, brought a wonderful mix of both instrumentation and styles. With a full five-piece band, Plants and Animals brought a playground of different sounds, from dark and moody to bright and dance-able, sometimes within the same song.
“It’s been a long time. A lot has changed, in everyone’s life, probably,” joked vocalist Warren Spicer to the assembled crowd.
The band played mostly from their latest release, Waltzed in From the Rumbling, like the infectious, marching bounce of “No Worries Gonna Find Us,” to the airy and soulful “Flowers.”