And So I Watch You From Afar and TTNG Bring Math Rock Mayhem to First Unitarian Church

Northern Ireland’s mostly-instrumental group And So I Watch You from Afar and English outfit TTNG (formerly This Town Needs Guns) both played stellar sets this past Saturday at Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church. On the last night of their tour, each band’s intricately written math rock was met with passionate singing along and excited jumping and screaming. Photos of the show can be seen below. TTNG’s chill set of interwoven guitar riffs, and some fat bass lines made for a truly impressive performance. Opening with “Cat Fantastic” and “Chinchilla” (both openers on their respective albums, and Animals), TTNG got the crowd going right off the bat. Lyrics like “On nights like this / we drink ourselves dry / and make promises / without intention” evoked a frenzied yelling reaction from the crowd.

Vocalist/guitarist/bassist Henry Tremain’s voice was flawless live, with perfect pitch and harmonies. Tremain also wielded a guitar and bass during a few songs, having both strapped around his shoulders at once. Going from bass to guitar with ease, he played every part needed to make the songs sound whole. Back up vocalist and guitarist Tim Collis is just as technically proficient, tapping his way through a good amount of their catalogue. Tim’s brother, drummer Chris Collis, plays parts that are equally as math oriented, resulting in a band that skillfully rocks in a chill yet passionate way. They played about an hour long set, covering old favorites like “If I Sit Still, Maybe I’ll Get Out Of Here,” and newer tracks like “Havoc In The Forum”. TTNG finished their performance with an acoustic lullaby version of “26 Is Dancier Than 4” that left the crowd in awe.

And So I Watch You From Afar absolutely blew me away. Their post rock instrumental sound is intertwined with huge crescendos, swift crazy licks, sudden stops and bursts of huge walls of sound. Lead guitarist Rory Frier is an absolute nut case on stage, in addition to being on point with every spaced out and energized sweeping of the fret. Even breaking two strings during their set, Frier quickly changed them as he messed with his numerous pedals to create bizarre sounds that acted as fill ins to the parts he was missing.Accompanied by guitarist Niall Kennedy and bassist Johnny Adger, they created some of the most epic music I have had the pleasure of witnessing live.  The heavy build ups  laden with interesting riffs and changing pounding drums played by Chris Wee totally entranced the crowd. Some of the most explosive parts were interrupted by simple “woahs” or screams that the crowd joyously took part in. And So I Watch You From Afar played a lot of songs off their newest release All Hail Bright Futures, including set opener “Big Things Do Remarkable.” They also featured some stuff off their older albums, like the punchy “Set Guitar to Kill” and fan favorite “BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION”. This post rock band is great for fans of Explosions in The Sky or Moving Mountains who yearn for something a little heavier and more productive.

Sargent House put on a great show consisting of two math rock bands that are amazing in their own ways. TTNG’s chill set made for the perfect introduction to the loud chaos that ensued during And So I Watch You From Afar. Definitely give a listen to these bands, whether on Spotify below, or on their respective bandcamps. (ASIWYFA, TTNG)







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