Pernice Brothers - Live

By paul

THE PERNICE BROTHERS rolled into town on this past Tuesday night with the Long Winters. Here are some of my thoughts on the show, which loosely assembled could be perceived as a review...

NXNW (the venue):
The show was at North By Northwest ( which is a great restaurant and venue for a show. It was the first time I'd been there and aside from it being a cool, small, comfy, place to see a band, the food was **excellent**. Very Yummy dinner there that night. If you live near Philly it's definitely a place to check out if you can.

Long Winters:
I checked their website ( out before the show and downloaded a few songs, which I listened to once or twice. Decent indie-guitar-pop. I think repeated listens will get me hooked eventually. The new 3 member lineup really put on a great set. It's amazing how how 3-piece bands can be when they have their act together (Buffalo Tom, Sugar, Throwing Muses, are good examples). The lead singer, John Roderick is a hilarious guy. His between song banter had the crown laughing consistently (myself included). One of the cool surprises of the night with them was "Cinnamon" (off their new album) where they stoppped the song mid-way to play an impressive take on Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl". Overall they were a great rock band, enough to persuade me to buy their 2nd album from the merch stand between sets.

Pernice Brothers:
I haven't really been keeping up with the Pernice Brothers aside from the tour dates that Liz posts here, but aparently Rick Menck (Matthew Sweet, Velvet Crush) had been drumming for them temporarily. But at the very last minute (literally) the regular drummer (forget his name) came up to the drum set - which Rick had just set up - all revved up and ready to go. So I'm guessing whatever family emergency took him away (Joe dedicated the set to his father) had him with all this pent up energy, because he was absolutely amazing on the drumset Tuesday night. He was attacking those skins like he was in some thrash metal band... what an amazing drummer he is. What's even more entertaining is to see the drummer's intensity matched Peyton Pinkerton's laid back approach to guitar playing, with at least 3 cigarettes lit/smoked during the set.

Unless I write them down I alway forget setlists, but the show started with "One Foot In the Grave" and then "Water Ban". The set included a New Order cover (sorry I forget the name but it was very impressive) and most of the last 2 albums, and few songs from the 1st album. The regular set ended with "Flaming Wreck", which is so much louder and better when they play it live. That song has this incredibly loud buildup that suddenly stops on a dime, only to build back up to the jangly loud fury again. The one song encore was "Weakest Shade Of Blue". I don't think the setlist was that much different from what they were playing in the summer of 2003 tour.

Overall they were in fine form, save a few technical difficulties with the keyboards. The Pernice Brothers definitely have their act together and know how to play well with each other. It was a wonderful show overall and they just played song after incredible song with a lot of heart.