Electric chaos is the word I’d use to describe Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends show this past Saturday night at MilkBoy. It was a family affair but you know…the dysfunctional kind.
First song “Cherry Lane” was a rough start between the sound going haywire and Ezra’s guitar breaking multiple strings. The packed house paid no mind as all faces were eager for Ezra’s return. I met a young lady who came all the way up from Virginia, having seen them perform in D.C. the day before. She told me it had been so long since they had been in the states, having toured Europe and then readied the release for Perpetual Motion People, Ezra’s newest release (3rd album, but 6th if you count his albums with The Harpoons…of which I do). Everyone in that space had a similar story. These are true fans and they are growing in numbers.
His backing band, The Boyfriends, were more of a staple than hired guns with saxophone solos throughout, a jack-of-all-trades keyboardist/guitarist, and a bassist who really looked like he was your boyfriend. By the 3rd song the band had gotten comfortable and the crowd upfront were getting wild. By the last song everybody in that venue was dancing: a mix of 1920s swing to and psuedo-mosh-pit (really just one guy and a few fist pumps here and there).
Highlights of the show included their newest hit single “Restless Year” that was too short you just wanted it to be played again, “Wobbly” a strange awkwardly catchy tune about feeling…awkward, the sing-a-long to “Lousy Connection,” and huge admiration and applause for “Mysterious Power,” a song from his previous band The Harpoons.
The best part…I’ve never seen a band at MilkBoy where the crowd demanded an encore, trapping the band in the middle of the crowd until they went back on stage…only for them to play four more songs including “I Killed Myself But I Didn’t Die.”
Philly’s own Danny Newport opened the show as well as Chicago-based band, J Fernandez. As I usually say but mean it more than any other time…you really should’ve been there. We missed you.