The Dirty Heads Bring a Free Show to Philly

Widen those nostrils and inhale. Smell that? You know what that means? The Dirty Heads were in town last night. The boys of Huntington Beach, California granted some last minute SoCal sun to a night where Mr. Fall was impatiently knocking on Philly’s door. For those of us clutching onto summer like a kid leaving mommy on the first day of school, the surfer’s paradise couldn’t have stomped out that mild bite of cool air outside at Xfinity Live at a more perfect moment. It could have just been the fog slithering around the crowd, but for the sake of us music fans, let’s just say it was the calm of the reggae, hip hop, ska-infused showmanship.

The always beanie-crowned Jared Watson gave a “What’s up, Philly,” as the opening for “Smoke Rings” started the hour-long freebie show. The brief pre-music monologue of the song allowed vocalist, Dustin Bushnell, enough time to cane and wobble to his microphone. In the words of Jared, Duddy B had “A bum leg.” But a bum leg didn’t bum out his performance.

And on came the rapping rapport blending up the perfect concoction of selections from both albums, debut Any Port In A Storm and follow up Cabin by the Sea. For a Thursday night at a sports complex in South Philly, the guys brought the salty, beach aura. What’s a night trip to the beach without a little fire? After ten straight songs, they took a Fireball break, which they so colorfully dedicated to the crowd for hanging with them even on a night when we “Had to be up early for work in the morning but are [bad word]in’ partying with them anyway.”

Following the little audience shake up, they finally gave the hardcore dirty heads a little musical gift. So came the – again colorfully-not-for-publication-language – proclamation that because we’re a 21 and above crowd, we should know what the Goonies are or leave; and that was the inspiration for the next song. Off their upcoming acoustic album, Home: Phantoms of the Summer – Acoustic Sessions, they gave us, “Sloth’s Revenge.” A typical Dirty Heads’ lyric-spit in bed with reggae and the inevitable, “Goonies never say die,” chorus.

When they were rounding their final songs, the encore was coming next. Right? Wrong! They made the interesting point of the band “fake finishing,” the band “fake leaving,” and the band “fake coming back,” just losing its appeal. While that’s part of their deeply sarcastic humor, it’s probably a fair assumption that it was really due to Dustin having to weeble-wobble on and off the stage. The show was capped off as a fan rap-a-long to “Lay Me Down,” and “Check the Level.”

The guys brought a little West to the East and a little beach to the city. The fans brought a little of the, hmm, stuff. They truly have an odd, kind of subtle , subconscious communication with their fans where you just feel as though you’re watching a group of your friends perform. And with the winter hibernation approaching way too quickly, they’re the guys you want to spend your Thursday night with.

The Dirty Heads’ upcoming acoustic album is due 10/29/13 along with a headlining tour starting in October. No Philly dates confirmed yet but let’s cross our fingers for one! Anything Dirty Heads can be found on their website or Facebook.

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