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The Coathangers – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA – April 20, 2019 (A Conce

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

The Coathangers – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA – April 20, 2019 – Photo by Hannah Rose Pittel © 2019

The Coathangers – Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA – April 20, 2019

Underground Arts was packed with an excited crowd ready to hear Atlanta-based punk rock band The Coathangers. The band was preceded by two opening groups who got the crowd going. Sixteen Jackies opened the house and had everyone dancing with their unique twist on alternative rock. Next was Big Bite, Seattle-based band, whose adopted punk rock approach gave the perfect introduction to The Coathangers.

After Big Bite’s set, The Coathangers started to set up their stage themselves. The crowd all gathered around the stage, trying to get up front to see the three-women-band featuring singer/guitarist Julia Kugel-Montoya (Crook Kid Coathanger), bassist Meredith Franco (Minnie Coathanger) and singer/drummer Stephanie Luke (Rusty Coathanger).

The band opened with “Lithium,” one of their slower songs. The crowd was swaying and cheering, eager to see what they would play next. For a moment there was quiet, then a fast-paced guitar riff signaled at the more upbeat song “Watch Your Back.” The whole venue started to dance, and the audience went wild.

This set the precedent for the rest of the night. The crowd kept dancing and singing along to every song. Their hit “F the NRA” got the audience screaming the lyrics back at the artists. Their entire set was energetic and passionate.

It was clear how versatile and talented each member of the band is by the fact that they each took turns playing different instruments – drums, guitar and base. The band even got the audience to chant for their band manager to hop on stage for them to thank him. The whole venue was cheering “John, John, John, John!”

After they finished their set with their song “Squeeki,” which lead singer Julia Kugel-Montoya held an actual toy to the microphone to create a “squeaking” effect, the three-women-band hopped off stage. The crowd was quick to voice their displeasure, chanting for an encore. The Coathangers delivered and ran back on stage to oblige.

The Coathangers performance was a music experience like no other. The band had a personal connection with their audience, bridging the gap between artist and audience. The Coathangers started their 2019 tour in California and have traveled all around the U.S. since mid-February. Philadelphia was the last stop before traveling to Europe to end their tour.

If you haven’t seen The Coathangers play yet, you should put it on your list.

Hannah Rose Pittel

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: April 24, 2019.

Photos © 2019 Hannah Rose Pittel. All rights reserved.

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