Quasi returned to Philadelphia after 15 months on Thursday, bringing with them a full performance of their classic 1998 album, “Featuring: Birds”. 
Marnie Stern kicked off the night, making her return to Philly after playing a rousing set opening up for Blonde Redhead in Philly last November. It’s immediately evident why Stern made Rolling Stone’s “Top 250 Guitarists of All Time” list, the virtuoso guitarist carving out her signature sound by tapping away at her fretboard and engaging the audience with churning riffs accompanied by bombastic drummer Nick Ferrante and trading riffs with guitarist Jon Gonnelli. Stern, along with Ferrante’s incredibly complex drumming and Gonnelli’s infectious energy really got the audience in the groove and well-prepared for the journey Quasi would soon take us on.
Quasi then took the stage, and the bombastic duo featuring Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss (turned trio with the addition of bassist and “Birds” producer Joanna Bolme) captivated the audience at World Café Live for over two hours of tunes throughout their catalog. The explosive energy of Weiss on the drumset and the raw, heartfelt passion of Coomes on the roxichord and guitar brought crowd favorites like “Our Happiness is Guaranteed” and “It’s Hard to Turn Me On” to life 26 years after its initial release. “Is it 2024, or 1998 again?” we question ourselves as the indie-rock darlings dazzled us with the classic album, cover to cover, mesmerizing the audience just as much today as it did when the album was born into the world in 1998. Coomes graciously told the audience how touched the band was that the album connects with so many people almost 3 decades later and how they too know the feeling as well of what it’s like to see a band perform an album in full that is near and dear to your heart and has been a part of your life for so long.
Following the full album performance, the band returned to the stage after a huge fanfare from the audience, with one audience member even remarking that they traveled three hours to come see the show. Audience members also shouted song requests as the band exchanged banter and words of gratitude with the audience. The band ripped through a rousing cover of Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas” in the encore performance before finishing the night with songs like “Death Culture Blues” from their 2006 album, “When the Going Gets Dark” and “It’s Raining” from their 2001 release, “the Sword of God”.  What we witnessed Thursday night of Sam, Janet and Joanna’s marathon performance of singalong-classics and boisterous high-energy songs really cemented them in the hall of fame of true indie-rock treasures. With an audience in attendance spanning from Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and beyond, Quasi’s music has really stood the test of time and proved that their timeless music is a multi-generational gift and will continue to be for generations to come.
By Dave Avidan
June 29, 2024
Marnie Stern

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