Ortlieb’s is a small but exciting venue on Philly’s famous North 3rd Street. Ortlieb's is mainly a bar but when you walk all the way to the back you find a 200 Sq Feet room with checkered floor tiles and a small stage. This is where my wonderful night of punk, psychedelia, and distortion occurred.
The first act to hit the stage was Christina Ward, a last-minute replacement who fit perfectly. Ward’s music is a wonderful blend of psychedelic, distorted, and at times haunting guitar work with folk and indie-inspired lyrics sung through a soft-spoken voice. Stating about halfway through her set “I get to play all my sad songs tonight” Ward was able to make a great connection with the audience and it was obvious she had captured their attention.
Following Ward was The Mary Veils, a band local to Philly who bring the energy of classic punk like The Dead Kennedys and The Ramones and combine it with fuzzy garage rock riffs and driving bass lines, all at max volume. Playing mostly songs from their 2022 album Esoteric Hex, it was a set full of nonstop energy, fun, and aggression. Their sound was something unique that I feel is best described as “fuzz-punk”. they draw as much influence from punk as they do from garage and grunge rock, helping to create a sound that is not only classic but new and fresh.
After That, it was Flatewaves, a band that is as experimental as they are heavy. At times they produce a sound that can be compared to great Shoegaze bands such as My Bloody Valentine or the Shoegaze elements of heavier bands such as Deftones. At other times it borders on psychedelia and prog-rock, sounding more like King Crimson. They are a band that turns the volume up to 11 and keeps it that way. My ears feel just as blown out as the speakers must’ve been, just how I like it. They are able to transition from beautiful atmospheric guitars to a heavy onslaught of music that will get you moving no matter what.
All in all, Flatwaves with The Mary Veils and Christina Ward was a lineup that did not disappoint. It was a night filled with distorted guitars, punk, sad songs, and shoegaze, and one neither I nor my ears, will be forgetting anytime soon. Finally Thanks to the organizers and Ortliebs for making this night possible.
By Nick Tovo
IG - @nrtimagery
May 03, 2023
The Mary Veils