Redbull & WXPN Welcome Good Old War for Homecoming and Send-Off Show at the Foundry!

Photography by Mike Mauger

When Keith Goodwin and Dan Schwartz take the stage, they don’t exactly have that intimidating rock star presence.  In fact, they barely have any presence.  They’re basically the two kinda goofy guys who sit in their cubicles down the hall who, you assume, have pretty boring lives, in spite of the fact that they seem to have fun with each other at work.  They’re probably accountants.  No. Maybe computer programmers. Or, maybe, they’re in insurance.  No, definitely computer programmers.

And then, the first note strikes.

And you realize that the duo on stage is Good Old War, the acoustic-pop duo from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, that has made a name for themselves on the national level due to their harmonies, heartfelt lyrics, and unique vocal approach.

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On Thursday night, Good Old War played The Foundry, the upstairs room of the new Fillmore, as part of March’s Red Bull Sound Select series, curated with help from WXPN and The Key.  The show was somewhat of a homecoming for the band.  Aside from an intimate record store gig to celebrate the release of their latest album, Broken into Better Shape, a few months back, Good Old War hasn’t really played a full show in Philadelphia for a little while.  Combine the gap with the somewhat sudden department of bandmate Tim Arnold (the name Good Old War was taken from the trio’s names, Keith GOODwin, Tim ArnOLD, and Dan SchWARtz), and Philly was certainly ready for their full-set return.

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The duo played an intimate acoustic only set that allowed the breadth of Dan’s guitar, Keith’s voice, and their harmonies to fill the room.  The show served as both a homecoming, but also something of a send-off.  The two take off for Europe next month for a tour that has them playing over a dozen shows in a handful of countries throughout April.  When they return, there’s no rest for the wicked, and the two take off on a U.S. tour.

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There may have been some who had doubts about the trio becoming a duo, with merely a guitar and two voices.  Those doubters, if in attendance on Thursday night, have been silenced.  All of Good Old War’s tunes, from fan favorites, to the deeper cuts, and especially their latest studio effort, Broken into Better Shape, translate themselves to that kind of performance so well that it’s scary.  The two have the chemistry that’s instantly recognizable as two best friends who’ve been through enough to know that they can get through anything.  Poking at each other in a way that’s simultaneously acting as praise, Goodwin and Schwartz complete each other on stage, and the final product is not to miss.

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Check out photos from the show below, and check out goodoldwar.com for their full tour schedule.  Don’t miss out on one of the best shows I’ve seen yet this year!

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