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Live Review: Philadelphia Grand Jury ‘So You Think You Can Philly Jay?’ Tour @ The Brightside

Philly Jays Live Brightside

Picture this: getting up on stage with your favourite band while they play the backing track to your favourite song, so that you can drunkenly belt your heart out to adoring fans. 15 minutes of fame isn’t usually that easy to come across, but last Friday night for some lucky people it was.

Sydney trio Philadelphia Grand Jury, or Philly Jays, are a tasty mix of indie rock and street soul. Their show at Brisbane’s The Brightside didn’t disappoint, as they played all their best originals and offered fans the chance to perform with them.

It was a suspenseful wait – the band didn’t hit the stage until midnight but for such a late start there were a lot of energetic Philly Jays lovers. As soon as they started their set with their cruel jingle I’m Going To Kill You, fans were magnetised to the mosh pit. The boys weren’t afraid to get up close and personal and just a few songs in, lead singer Berkfinger was on the floor sharing the mic with loyal admirers who knew all the words.

“After a blur of 70s dance moves and cool hair flicks from the band and crowd alike, it was time for the karaoke.”

The highlight of the trio’s original set was definitely Ready to Roll. They had already been playing for half an hour at this point but as soon as they belted out the first bar of this tune, the crowd erupted into a pile of crowdsurfing and drink throwing. After a blur of 70s dance moves and cool hair flicks from the band and crowd alike, it was time for the karaoke. The trio grabbed a karaoke sign up list that had circulated through the crowd like a Tuesday night at the local pub.

The list was half empty and people seemed nervous at first, but as soon as a very brave (or just very drunk) fan got up and rapped her life away to Outkast’s Hey Ya everyone was fighting to go next. Covers of classics such as Weezer’s El Scorcho and The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be got some air time. One dude was even lucky enough to get sassy to Man! I Feel Like A Woman! by Shania Twain.

By the end of the set, the gig had turned into a drunk singalong that would remind you of late night SingStar at a high school house party. There really wasn’t anything to fault, except that fans still weren’t exhausted after grooving for two hours straight, although it looked like they could have gone for days. It’s easy to see how Philly Jays have such a loyal and crazy following- this gig was one to remember! I may not have joined them on stage, but will I go back to see them next time they tour? Absolutely!

Read our interview with bassist/keyboardist MC Bad Genius HERE.